Legendary Entertainment Eyeing Rival Studio Options With Warner Deal Over
Legendary Entertainment is said to be eyeing a move from its on-again, off-again home at Warner Bros. as its deal with that studio expired recently, Deadline has confirmed.
Sony and Paramount are said to be in the mix, with the former a frontrunner. Warner Bros. also has a new deal on the table for Legendary, which was previously at Universal, and before that at Warner.
Reps for Legendary and Warner Bros. declined to comment.
There was a kerfuffle with Warner’s during the whole Jason Kilar led Project Popcorn that put Dune in theaters and on HBO Max. But the studio has since committed to Dune: Part Two, currently shooting in Jordan, and Kilar is gone. Both Legendary titles, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Dune, were the highest grossing movies worldwide under the WarnerMedia-HBO Max day-and-date experiment last year, grossing respectively $386.6M and $401.8M. Dune went on to win six Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture.
CEO David Zaslav has very publicly committed to theatrical. But he’s also been slashing projects and deals with high profile producers, including J.J. Abrams, so some outside conversations made sense as the Warner deal needs to be renegotiated.
Other Legendary movies at Warners are Christmas Story Christmas on HBO Max, and the Godzilla-Kong monsterverse.
Legendary went to Universal in 2014 for a five-year deal. In 2018, Legendary switched Detective Pikachu over to Warner Bros. indicating the end of the financier producer’s deal with Uni was in the cards. Detective Pikachu was one of six pictures that Warner Bros co-financed and release in a non-exclusive pact with Legendary; that pic grossing $433.2M.
Legendary’s talks were first reported in The Ankler.
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