According to the Daily Mail, Hodge "had been toying with the possibility of portraying showman P. T. Barnum in a revival of the musical Barnum", but "couldn’t refuse" the opportunity to create Wonka on stage.
The £10million production opens in June 2013, following previews from 18 May. The musical has a book by David Greig and new songs from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, whose credits include the Tony Award-winning Hairspray.
Hodge won an Olivier and Tony Award for his role as Albin in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s revival of Harvey Fierstein’s musical La Cage aux Folles. Other notable credits include Guys and Dolls at the Donmar and in the West End (playing Nathan Detroit opposite Ewan McGregor as Sky Masterson) and most recently Inadmissible Evidence, also for the Donmar.
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory he plays the mysterious Willy Wonka, who is opening his Chocolate Factory for just one day, and the humble boy Charlie Bucket for whom it promises to be a mouth-watering chance to feast his eyes on sweets beyond his wildest imagination.
The role has previously been played on screen in two major adaptations by Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp. Actors tipped for the role in London ranged from Michael Ball to Russell Brand.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick. Tickets go on sale in October, with exact dates and casting still to be announced.
Set and costume design will be by Mark Thompson with choreography by Peter Darling (Matilda, Billy Elliot). Other members of the creative team include: Doug Besterman (orchestrations); Nicholas Skilbeck (music director); Paul Pyant (lighting designer); Paul Arditti (sound designer) and Jon Driscoll (video and projection designer).