While Marvel’s hit making factory breaking up over budgets could be cause for smiles across Riverside Drive at Warner Bros. it appears they are having their own dispute with Thomas Tull’s (above, left with WB’s Jeff Robinov) Legendary Pictures, Variety reports, the powerhouse studio that has produced the Batman films, the Hangover films, the Zack Snyder Films, and the upcoming most important superhero movie of all times, Man of Steel. In other words, just about everything except Harry Potter that was a mega hit in the last decade. Why?
Tensions over their unresolved issues come at an awkward time for both, just as Warner Bros. is getting ready to release three of the partners’ high-profile summer titles, “Pacific Rim,” “Man of Steel” and “Hangover Part III.” All three offerings are expected to generate a massive box office haul for both sides, which are obligated to continue co-funding and releasing pictures that are greenlit through the end of 2013. That includes the upcoming sequel “300: Rise of an Empire” and “The Seventh Son” and next year’s “Godzilla,” which is currently in production.
According to Variety, there isn’t any smoking gun for the tensions, it’s just like a marriage where the partners aren’t getting along so good any more. This one gets too much credit, that one has money of his own now, this one never supported me, then there was the time he ordered Chinese food without asking, etc etc etc. Reportedly Legendary’s Thomas Tull and WB’s Jeff Robinov aren’t besties, but new WB head Kevin Tsujihara has been trying to patch things up. Legendary would find a welcome home at any other studio however, so who knows how this will work out. There’s also the comic book factor:
Legendary has capitalized on Warner Bros.’ success by establishing itself as a brand for high-profile genre fare, with strong talent relationships with directors Christopher Nolan, Todd Phillips and Guillermo del Toro. That was only elevated after Legendary purchased Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Industries and launched a comicbook division, which is still looking to gain traction.
Tull’s superhero movies have been the only bright spots in WB’s comic book slate—aside from Jonah Hex—and he even had the good sense to pass on making Green Lantern, so should Legendary find a new home, WB might have to start from scratch in many ways on building their own comic book universe.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.