Legendary Rules Out Paramount, Disney (Exclusive)

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Thomas Tull

As chief Thomas Tull says the entertainment company will make a move in the next 60 days, sources tell THR two studios are not in the mix.

Neither Paramount nor Disney is in the mix to forge a pact with Legendary as the entertainment company seeks a new deal and potentially a new partner, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Legendary chairman and CEO Thomas Tull, speaking at a company press day, said Legendary expects to either renew its deal with Warner Bros. or find a new partner by the end of summer.

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Tull did not disclose which studios the company is still courting -- “We have got it down to a handful,” he said -- but insiders say Paramount and Disney are not among them.

“It’s a methodical process that examines every aspect of the  things we are thinking about, including in television, and looking at our slate going forward,” said Tull. "It’s one of those things we want to measure twice and cut once.”

The company has been a partner with Warners since 2005, co-financing and co-producing the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, The Hangover franchise and the new Superman relaunch Man of Steel. And Tull admitted that the company would not be where it is today without the Burbank-based studio.

But the company, as it prepares to roll out its July tentpole Pacific Rim, wants to be more involved in the content it makes and have a greater control in shaping its future.

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“We have two constituents that I think about," he says. "One is we make great stuff for our fans -- and we want to make sure our content is great. And second, that we bring value to our shareholders. And in that order. If we can find the right situation to help achieve that vision by the end of the summer, then that’s what we will do.”

Legendary is about to begin a new push into television, with yesterday’s hire of former Warner Bros. TV chief Bruce Rosenblum.

The company flirted with TV a few years ago, studying the viability of having its own cable channel or acting as a producer before deciding those paths were not for them, Tull said Tuesday.

“There are more changes going on now in TV than in many, many years -- if not ever,” said Tull. "The good news is that the storytelling in television is the most compelling it’s ever been. And the way fans want to consume and interact and watch different forms of television is clearly changing. Rather than take a big swing and look at the capital that we wasted, we wanted to be efficient and fact-gathering and prudent.”

He admitted the company has already been “warehousing and buying things quite quietly, amassing some IP” for the TV side.