Warner Bros - Legendary Divorce: Universal Gets Custody of 'Seventh Son'

Friday, 16 August 2013 08:19 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Warner Bros - Legendary Divorce: Universal Gets Custody of 'Seventh Son'

For years, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures had a good thing going, an exclusive relationship whereby the former distributed big movies co-financed by the latter.

But now, the distributor and production company are going through an amicable breakup.  Legendary wasted no time hopping into bed with new squeeze Universal Pictures, but now WB and its former flame have to divvy up their possessions.  The distributor has left a box of stuff on Legendary's doorstep, stuff like Seventh Son and even the Man of Steel sequel that will probably be titled Superman vs. Batman.

You've doubtless seen the Legendary logo before a bunch of movies released by Warner Bros. over the last eight years, including 300, The Hangover trilogy, The Town, Sucker Punch, Watchmen, and Clash of the Titans.  Most recently, you'd have seen it prior to Man of Steel and Pacific Rim.

Next year, Warner Bros. will still distribute the Noam Murro-directed sequel 300: Rise of an Empire, as well as Gareth Edwards's Godzilla, on which Legendary is picking up 75% to 80% of the production budget.

Getting kicked to the curb by Warner Bros., however, is Seventh Son, the fantasy action-adventure that's been delayed several times.  Directed by Sergey Bodrov, the film stars Jeff Bridges as Master Gregory, a knight and sorceror who centuries ago imprisoned Mother Malkin, played by Julianne Moore, to keep her from being evil all over the kingdom.  When Malkin escapes more powerful than ever, drawing her minions to her in order that she may take her revenge, Gregory has only until the next moon to train his apprentice.  That apprentice, the seventh son of a seventh son, is played by Ben Barnes.

The film was scheduled for January 17th.  Warner Bros. was in the early stages of selling the picture, having released one theatrical trailer and given Seventh Son a push at San Diego Comic-Con last month.  But according to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has removed the fantasy movie from its release calender.

Universal, then, is picking up Seventh Son as part of a distribution-only deal.  When the movie will actually hit theaters is a mystery for the time being, as an Universal representative says "we haven't picked a release date yet."

Legendary's new partner will also have first crack at a bunch of Legendary Pictures projects currently in development.  These include Duncan Jones's Warcraft, fellow videogame adaptation Mass Effect, Michael Mann's Cyber, and the IP cash-in Hot Wheels.  Universal now gets to decide which of these it will co-finance and distribute.

Warner Bros., meanwhile, will have to proceed with the sequel to Man of Steel without Legendary, which co-produced this summer's Superman reboot.  Legendary has traded in its stake on Zack Snyder's Superman vs. Batman in exchange for a stake in Interstellar, the Christopher Nolan-directed science fiction adventure that just kicked off production in Alberta, Canada.

Legendary, which co-financed Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, will provide something like 25% of the Interstellar budget, according to THR.  The film was already a co-production between Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures.  Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, and Michael Caine.  It hits theaters on November 7, 2014.

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