Legendary in Talks With ‘Everybody’ for New Movie Deal
Legendary Entertainment, the company that co-financed “Man of Steel” and the “Dark Knight” movies, is talking to “everybody” in Hollywood about a new production alliance, including incumbent Warner Bros.
The company, led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tull, expects to reach a decision in 60 days, Tull told reporters today in Los Angeles. The Burbank, California-based company yesterday hired Bruce Rosenblum, Warner Bros.’ former head of television, to lead its TV and digital media operations.
Tull, known mostly for financing and co-producing pictures for Warner, has been trying to establish an independent identity as a filmmaker. The company produced “42,” the Jackie Robinson movie biography, and “Pacific Rim,” a big-budget science-fiction feature that arrives in theaters on July 12. In May, Legendary agreed to make movies with China Film Co. to gain a foothold in the second-largest cinema market.
“For us it’s really about the company that we want to build and what could be the best place for us to fulfill that vision,” Tull said. “It’s a process that’s pretty big in scope and we want to make sure we put ourselves in the right position.”
Legendary’s current deal with Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s film division expires in December. Tull has had a tense relationship with Jeff Robinov, who heads Warner Bros.’ film studio, people with knowledge of the situation said earlier this year.
Tull said today that he gets along well with new Warner Bros. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Tsujihara. Tsujihara, Rosenblum and Robinov were rivals to replace Barry Meyer as CEO in March. Meyer remains chairman of the studio.
“He’s a straight shooter,” Tull said of Tsujihara. “He’s honest and he will look you in the eye, and that’s all you can ask for. From my perspective Warner Bros., whether we’re there or not, has a bright future under his leadership.”
Tull responded to questions after showing footage and briefing journalists on new film projects, including the special effects-heavy “Pacific Rim,” about a struggle between humans and a race of giant, lizard-like aliens. Director Guillermo del Toro joined the briefing, saying he wanted to make a big action film without political overtones.
“I didn’t want to make a war movie,” he said. “I didn’t want a dystopian future.”
The agreement between Legendary East and China Film Co. will be “impactful and meaningful,” Tull said. China Film is a unit of government-backed China Film Group, the country’s largest film producer and distributor.
“We’ll wait and see how this unfolds but it’s an important place for growth for us,” Tull said.
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