With Legendary Entertainment ending their eight-year-long deal with Warner Bros. two weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before they found another one of the major studios to partner up with, and today they've apparently secured their deal. Variety is reporting that the Thomas Tull-run studio has signed a deal with NBCUniversal that will be made official on Wednesday, July 10th. At this time there aren't any official details available about the deal itself, though according to the trade's insiders it's a contract quite similar to the one that Legendary had with WB, the studio serving as a co-financier.
When we learned back in June that Legendary and Warners would be splitting ways, NBCUniversal was rumored to be the top choice along with Sony (the new story suggests that 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate were both in the running as well). Even at the time it was said that Universal had the edge thanks to its solid establishment in the television world. This was reportedly seen as a bonus to Legendary, which hired former Warner TV head Bruce Rosenblum to run its small-screen operations earlier this year. Until more details about the contract come out, however, we won't know how this new deal will affect plans for Legendary in the new medium.
As partners, Legendary and Warners had some incredible success over the last eight years and produced some of the biggest blockbusters of all time. During their time together the studios created major blockbuster franchises like Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy and Todd Phillips' Hangover movies. Adding in hits like Inception and The Town, the two studios made more than $8.5 billion at the box office domestically during their tenure together. And while the Universal deal may be complete, that doesn't mean that they are done putting out films together. In addition to Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, which hits theaters this weekend, the pair also worked on upcoming films like Sergei Bodrov's The Seventh Son (January 17, 2014), Noam Murro's 300: Rise of an Empire (March 7, 2014), Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (May 16, 2014), and Michael Mann's Cyber (no release date currently available). This year alone they have already put out Bryan Singer's Jack The Giant Slayer, Brian Helgeland's 42, Phillips' The Hangover Part III and Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, and it's been announced that they will also be sharing the stage on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con next week.
While Legendary moving away from Warners is a big deal, it's hard to see any bad side in it for Universal. Tull's company has helped cultivate some of the biggest blockbuster franchises of the last decade, and that's a department that Universal could definitely use support in (believe it or not, there is a limit to how many Fast & Furious movies they can make). Hopefully it won't be too long until they start announcing the projects that they plan to work together on.
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