Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Production has commenced in London on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a fantasy adventure directed by Tim Burton and based on Roald Dahl's classic tale, for Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The film stars Oscar-nominated Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) as ingenious candymaker Willy Wonka, marking the actor's fourth collaboration with director Burton. Twelve-year-old British actor Freddie Highmore, who costars in the films Two Brothers and J.M Barrie's Neverland, and portrayed the young King Arthur in Turner Network's mini-series "The Mists of Avalon," takes on the title role of Charlie.

Joining the ensemble are Helena Bonham Carter, David Kelly, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Missi Pyle and Christopher Lee.

Rounding out the cast as the four lucky children of diverse backgrounds who, along with Charlie, win "golden tickets" in a global contest for an exclusive tour of Wonka's famous factory are: Jordan Fry as Mike Teavee; AnnaSophia Robb as Violet Beauregarde; Julia Winter as Veruca Salt; and Philip Wiegratz as Augustus Gloop.

The film is produced by Brad Grey and Richard D. Zanuck from a screenplay by John August, based on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. Felicity Dahl, Patrick McCormick, Michael Siegel and Bruce Berman serve as executive producers.

Acclaimed director Tim Burton brings his vividly imaginative style to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, about eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka, and Charlie, a good-hearted boy from a poor family who lives in the shadow of Wonka's extraordinary factory. Long isolated from his own family, Wonka launches a worldwide contest to select an heir to his candy empire. Five lucky children, including Charlie, draw golden tickets from Wonka chocolate bars and win a guided tour of the legendary candy-making facility that no outsider has seen in 15 years. Dazzled by one amazing sight after another, Charlie is drawn into Wonka's fantastic world in this astonishing and enduring story.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be released worldwide in 2005 by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

Brian B.