Legendary Entertainment founder and CEO Thomas Tull announced Tuesday that he's stepping down as head of the company he founded in 2000, leaving one of Hollywood's most viablegenre film production companies without its leader.
Legendary got on the genre radar in a big way in 2005 when the company entered an agreement with Warner Bros. to produce and co-finance a number of films. A string of hits soon followed, including The Dark Knight Trilogy, 300, The Hangover Trilogy, Godzilla and more. The company eventually moved to Universal and last year it was acquired by China's Dalian Wanda Group for $3.5 billion.
Now, one year almost to the day after that acqusition was announced, Tull (pictured above with Godzilla director Gareth Edwards) is leaving the company -- and, according to THR, Wanda's frustrations with Tull's productions of The Great Wall and Pacific Rim 2 were a factor.
Tull was a very hands-on CEO, sometimes helping to develop stories (as with The Great Wall) and sometimes pushing ahead with risky projects like Pacific Rim simply because he wanted to see them get made. A lifelong fan of comics and video games, he also helped push projects like Watchmen out of development hell and was often there to cheer his projects on at conventions.
Tull will now move on to focus on his investment group while Legendary's head of production Mary Parent will stay on at the company. Tull's not done with producing films entirely, though; he'll reportedly stay on as producer on Legendary's Monsterverse films (which includes Kong: Skull Island, opening in March) and the upcoming adaptation of Dune.
It's hard to tell at this early stage what this move will mean for Legendary's future film slate as so many projects are already in the pipeline. I'm sad to see Tull go, though. He had an enthusiasm that went way beyond number-crunching, and he made a huge mark on genre cinema in the eary days of this tentpole age.