Legendary movie takes more realistic approach to classic monster tale
The licensing biz is showing no fear in rallying around Godzilla.
Fifteen years after Sony stumbled with its big-budget “Godzilla,” leaving many partners left with unsold merchandise tied to the Roland Emmerich-helmed film, Legendary Entertainment is finding that licensing partners are ready to line up behind its big screen adaptation of the Japanese monster.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has begun putting together a growing list of partners around the summer film that stomps into theaters May 16, 2014.
Already Bandai America Incorporated has landed the deal to serve as the film’s master toy partner, and will create action figures and building sets around the film. Also on board are NECA, with gifts and novelties; Jakks Pacific (large scale figures); Bioworld (apparel); Trevco (apparel); Rubie’s (costumes for kids and adults); and Sideshow Collectibles, with detailed statues.
The idea is to attract attract mass and specialty retailers with toys and figures, apparel and accessories, costumes, publishing and products that cover other categories, with some products also available exclusively at WBShop.com.
“With an impressive and long-standing legacy that is known universally across all formats and multiple generations, Godzilla is one of the most iconic monsters to ever hit the silver screen,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “As the ‘King of Monsters’ prepares to take the world by storm, we are working with our licensing partners on behalf of Legendary to create products that bring to life the spirit of epic adventures and imagination captured by this much-anticipated film.”
Legendary, which also scored with a licensing push around Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” has been generating highly favorable buzz around “Godzilla” since showing a test reel of footage, that takes a more realistic approach to the character, at last year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, and before that to industryites.
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“We believe that our new theatrical film brings a bold new take on Godzilla that will energize and mobilize fans on a worldwide basis and like never before,” said Joel Chiodi, executive VP, theatrical marketing, Legendary Entertainment. “This licensing program is an augmentation of the filmed entertainment experience, and while it will rally the powerful base, Godzilla the movie will introduce a whole new generation of fans to this franchise.”
WBCP will be at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this week presenting opportunities to tie in with the film as well as other properties from Warner Bros. This summer, it has “Man of Steel,” the next two films of “The Hobbit” trilogy; “300: Rise of an Empire;” and the upcoming 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz,” along with ongoing campaigns for DC Comics’ superheroes, “Harry Potter,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Looney Tunes.”
Division has recently seen “Man of Steel” merchandise fly off the shelves, selling over 100,000 Superman capes (for kids and adults) in the U.S. alone over the past four weeks. Studio had lined up Mattel, Lego and Rubie’s, as well.
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Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston star in “Godzilla,” with Gareth Edwards directing from a script by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham. Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers.
More than 25 films have featured Toho Co.’s Godzilla, while the monster has also appeared in TV shows, videogames and comicbooks.