Hey, did you know it’s the 50th anniversary of the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? The book that would go on to inspire exactly one good film adaptation just celebrated its half-centennial, and publisher Penguin decided to release a new edition of the novel with an updated cover, which you can see below.
And hey, that’s… something. What is that? What is going on, Penguin, why is this Beyond the Valley of the Dolls nightmare happening?
We’re not sure if Penguin was intentionally trying to court controversy here or if some art director just got hyper-conceptual with it, but what does this Toddlers and Tiaras riff have to do with Dahl’s darkly comic tale of bratty kids and the emotionally-stunted parents who love them?
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the cover is taken from a cropped image from a 2008 Numero photoshoot called “Mommy Dearest” which presents a fun house mirror version of the harrowing camp classic of the same name. There’s not really a lot of overlap there between a movie about child abuse, a photoshoot providing an homage to the same, and Dahl’s darkly whimsical story (although, I am willing to cop to missing something). For comparison, this is the cover for Penguin’s UK release in September.
Penguin, for their part, are keeping mum, simply linking to the many think pieces and articles about the new cover, leaning back, and presumably smugly counting the shares on Facebook. You win this time, Penguin.
Her eyes, they follow you.
Do you see? Do you see?!
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]