Warner Bros is to market its big summer film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, through an array of licensing agreements ahead of its opening. It has signed merchandising contracts with companies including Penguin Books and Funrise Toy Corp. The latter will hold the global master toy licence for the film and will develop play sets, action figures and games for all markets.
Warner Bros is still negotiating an international food brand licence for the film. Nestlé Rowntree already has a branded Willy Wonka range, but it is not clear how this line will be affected by the film.
The film, based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl, is scheduled for a UK release in July. It is directed by Tim Burton, who made the 1989 Batman movie, and stars Johnny Depp of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Penguin is re-jacketing the original novel with a still from the film and also publishing a picture book, joke book, sticker book, colouring book and activity book.
Other UK licensees include Aykroyds for clothing, Danilo for stationery, Cards Inc for gifts and Zak Designs for bedding.
The film company is also releasing a new Batman film in July, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring British actor Christian Bale as the caped crusader.