What's Next For Legendary Now That Their Warner Bros. Deal Has Expired? – /Film
Legendary Pictures, the production company behind the “Dark Knight” franchise and the MonsterVerse, which includes movies like “Godzilla vs. Kong,” is gearing up for a big move. The company has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Warner Bros. for much of its existence, and the relationship has been undoubtedly fruitful. However, it appears as though Legendary’s current deal is up and they have the option to take their business to a new home — and it’s probably not going to be Warner Bros.
As first reported by The Ankler, Legendary is currently looking to set up a new deal with a studio partner now that they are not currently under contract. Yes, they have projects such as “Dune: Part Two” and the “Godzilla vs. Kong” sequel in the works at Warner Bros., but new projects are no longer under any obligation to any studio. The important thing here is that Sony and Paramount are said to be the ones courting Legendary, and Sony appears to have an edge. Warner Bros. does have an offer on the table, but they are unlikely to win the day.
This would potentially be huge for Sony or Paramount as Legendary’s productions have earned more than $17 billion at the global box office to date, not to mention movies they’ve made that went to Netflix like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” which became a big hit for the streamer. Interestingly enough, Sony does not have a major streaming service and is more content to focus on theatrical. That may be the key in all of this, and could prove appealing for Legendary.
Legendary has had a somewhat tricky relationship with Warner Bros. over the years. The company initially signed a deal with Warner back in 2005 before jumping ship to Universal in 2014. That deal expired in 2019, but during the course of that deal, Legendary moved “Detective Pikachu” to Warner Bros. and it went on to become a big hit. Legendary has been back with Warner Bros. for the past few years, but from 2020 on, it has not been a happy marriage.
As Hollywood emerged from the pandemic, former Warner Bros. CEO Jason Kilar (before the merger with Discovery when David Zaslav took over) launched what was known as “Project Popcorn.” This made it so every single 2021 movie from WB would arrive both in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day in the United States. Legendary produced “Dune” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” and was not happy about the situation. Both of those movies became hits despite the situation and are getting sequels, but that straw may have broken the camel’s back.
Legendary has been one of Warner Bros. most fruitful creative partnerships. Aside from the first two “Jurassic World” films produced for Universal, Legendary’s biggest hits by far have come from this deal, which has meant a lot of money for WB as a result. But Sony’s commitment to theatrical may be far too appealing to ignore. And let’s not count out Paramount here, as they would love a new partner like this after losing Skydance to Apple. Either way, this could mean a big shift is coming very soon.