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Legendary to Decide on Warner Bros. Renewal Within Next 60 Days

Company looks to "take more control over its destiny"

Legendary Entertainment will decide whether to stay at Warner Bros within the next 60 days, or by the end of the summer, according to Thomas Tull.

The Legendary chief disclosed the time frame during a presentation of the company’s upcoming film slate to press in Hollywood.

Tull said the two companies are in very different position from when they first paired up to co-finance and co-produce tentpoles in 2005.

“We are talking to everyone,” Tull said, including Warner Bros., with Kevin Tsujihara now heading the studio. Since taking control of the studio in March, Tsujihara has “been getting his arms around the situation,” of whether to continue its relationship with Legendary. “He’s been great,” Tull said.

Warner Bros. is evaluating the types of partnerships it wants to be in, and the amount of ownership it wants over its franchises, Tull said. Outside of “Harry Potter,” Warner Bros. rarely owns 100% of its tentpoles, opting to share the risk with other financiers. That includes DC’s superhero pics, which Legendary has helped finance over the years, including Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “Superman Returns” and “Man of Steel.” That is likely to change under Tsujihara.

Legendary also wants to maintain more ownership in its tentpoles, which includes this summer’s giant robot vs. monster mashup “Pacific Rim,” out in July, under the helm of Guillermo del Toro. Future films Tull promoted during the presentation included “300: Rise of an Empire;” fantasy pic “Seventh Son;” an untitled cyberthriller that Michael Mann is helming and stars Chris Hemsworth; videogame adaptation “Warcraft;” thriller “As Above So Below;” and supernatural actioner “Spectral.”

“We want to grow to a size and want to control as much of our destiny as much as possible,” Tull said, adding that any studio it decides to partner with would have to agree to “help fulfill the grand vision” Legendary has to build a larger entertainment company that produces not just films, but TV shows, digital content and publishes comicbooks that appeal to fans of genre fare.

Tull called Tsujihara “a very smart guy” and praised the exec for being “a straight shooter,” something that helped the two connect over the years.

“Whether we’re there or not, they have a bright future,” Tull said of Warner Bros. “We will continue to be friends.” But if Legendary does leave the lot, “I’m going to be grateful for the time we had,” Tull added. “We wouldn’t be where we are without Warner Bros.”

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