Bloomberg News

Warner’s ‘Dark Knight’ Partner Legendary Mulls Options

February 02, 2013

Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of the “Dark Knight” films, is in talks with Hollywood studios that could potentially lead to a break with longtime partner Warner Bros., people with knowledge of the situation said.

Legendary Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tull may also stay with Warner Bros. when his current deal expires at the end of this year, said the people, who sought anonymity because the talks are private. The production company is located on the Time Warner Inc. (TWX:US) studio’s lot in Burbank, California.

Tull is considering his options amid a leadership change at Warner Bros., which named home entertainment President Kevin Tsujihara to replace Barry Meyer as CEO on March 1. Tull has occasionally had friction with Warner Bros. Pictures President Jeff Robinov, the people said. There are no major disagreements that would keep Tull from re-signing, they said.

Tsujihara has said he hopes both Robinov and TV head Bruce Rosenblum, who lost in the three-way competition to replace the retiring Meyer, will stay with Warner Bros.

Robinov and Tull have disagreed over issues of authority and credit for their movies, the website TheWrap reported yesterday.

Legendary, which raised more than $700 million last year, is attractive to Hollywood studios hungry for film financing and its proven track record. The company has been courted by other studios for several years as it co-produced a string of profitable films with Warner.

Legendary recently began producing some films on its own, retaining Warner Bros. as the distributor. The Jackie Robinson biography “42” is scheduled for release in April, and “Godzilla” in May 2014.

Future Warner Bros. co-productions include “Man of Steel,” a revival of the Superman franchise set for June.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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