Jon Jashni is stepping aside as president and chief creative officer at Legendary Entertainment, the fantasy and genre production company founded by Thomas Tull and recently sold to the Wanda Group of China.
Jashni is leaving to form Raintree Ventures, an investment and incubation fund operating in the entertainment sector, according to the announcement, which was made by Legendary founder Tull.
“Jon has helped me build Legendary as a trusted adviser, friend and collaborator, and I couldn’t be more proud of his contributions over the last decade. I look forward to working with him in his new venture,” Tull said in a statement.
Jashni joined Tull’s company in 2006 and has been one of its central players ever since. During his time at Legendary, Jashni collaborated with such brand partners as Blizzard, Mattel, Electronic Arts and Toho and worked with filmmakers including Zhang Yimou, Baz Luhrmann, Guillermo del Toro and Paul Greengrass.
“I am exceedingly proud of having been a part of the team which has grown this company,” Jashni said in a statement. “I was afforded a life-changing opportunity by Thomas 10 years ago, and I will be forever grateful to him and to my Legendary colleagues for the privilege of working together.”
Wanda Group of China announced in January that it was acquiring Tull’s filmmaking company in a deal valued at $3.5 billion — one of the biggest incursions to date of a Chinese company into the U.S. entertainment business.
The new Chinese owners expressed no interest in shifting management of the company at the time of the acquisition. Tull said at the time that the partnership with Wanda would allow the creation of an international media company.
“There is an ever-growing demand for quality entertainment content worldwide, particularly in China, and we will combine our respective strengths to bring an even better entertainment experience to the world’s audiences,” Tull said at the time.
Producer of such films as “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla,” Legendary already has a Chinese offshoot Legendary East that’s now in post-production on its first movie, “The Great Wall.” Directed by China’s Zhang Yimou from a story idea originally hatched by Tull, the $150 million picture is straight out of the Legendary playbook, targeting a global fan-boy audience with a high-concept fantasy pitch and copious CGI.