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Thomas Tull to Leave Legendary Pictures

Thomas Tull to Leave Legendary Pictures

Legendary Pictures’ Chairman Thomas Tull recently left recently left his position after pressure from China’s Dalian Wanda Group, the company’s Chinese owner. Tull had discovered the studio in 2005 and sold the company to Dalian Wanda Group in 2016. The company is allegedly frustrated with Tull’s management of upcoming products such as The Great Wall and Pacific Rim 2. Wanda’s acquisition of Legendary in early 2016 is regarded as the largest purchase of a studio by a Chinese company. Wang Jialin, the wealthiest man in China and the CEO of Wanda, played a major role in brokering the deal. Jialin also owns AMC Cinemas and Dick Clarke Productions. Thomas Tull was be replaced by Jack Gao, Wanda’s CEO and Senior VP International Investments and Operations.

Before becoming an independent studio operated at Universal Pictures in 2013, Legendary Pictures acted as a financing vehicle for Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight and The Hangover Trilogy. At Universal, Legendary Pictures produced Jurassic World, Godzilla, Pacific Rim, and Warcraft. The company reportedly has a Pokemon movie in the works, a Dune reboot directed by Denis Villeneuve, and an untitled Dwayne Johnson action flick set in China. Wang has promised to primarily invest in the U.S entertainment industry, despite the upcoming trade tensions between the U.S and China.

It’s undisputed that Jialin will be playing a major role in the movie industry, and the already booming Chinese market will continue to grow. The obvious pandering to China, showcased in Hollywood blockbusters such as Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise, is nothing new. But Tull’s resignation could be seen as a possible sign that the emerging Chinese market may eventually overtake the U.S. While the U.S market is still the prominent industry in terms of entertainment, the upcoming The Great Wall starring Matt Damon and the upcoming untitled Dwayne Johnson action film obviously show that Hollywood is beginning to take the Chinese entertainment market more seriously than the one in America. The Great Wall, which has been met with mediocre reviews and is not expected to over perform commercially in the U.S, will be released on February 17, 2017.

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Source: THR

About The Author

Spencer Mullen

Spencer Mullen is a student at NYU and a major film/TV buff. In addition to writing at Splash Report, Spencer also writes at the NYU Chapter of the Verge Campus.

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