Legendary Pictures is having a great summer, it goes without saying. The Hangover Part III turned a decent profit and Man of Steel killed at the box office this weekend.
So, now what?
To answer that question, president Thomas Tull invited select members of the press, including yours truly, down to a press conference in Hollywood to look ahead at the company's slate in the coming years which includes a new film from the Dowdle brothers, an epic-looking war film infused with a supernatural edge and more. We even got Tull to comment on the prospect of another Trick 'r Treat film.
Tull's presentation featured a first-ever look at...
...Seventh Son, the monster-filled film directed by Sergei Bodrov and starring Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and and Ben Barnes. Being a fan of The Big Lebowski, Tull expressed his excitement about getting Bridges and Moore back together, however, in this film, the two are at odds. Bridges plays a knight whereas Moore is a powerful witch (with a tail, I might add) who can tranform into a demonic, winged beast. The trailer packed a nice punch and it was brimming with various creatures and the promise of a cool adventure - akin to something like the old Ray Harryhausen films. Bridges is back doing some sort of Rooster Cogburn drawl, still, the movie looked like fun.
Godzilla is obviously a big player at Legendary. The reboot is currently lensing in Vancouver under the direction of Gareth Edwards (Monsters) and Tull said his love for Godzilla ran deep, sharing his post-Thanksgiving tradition, as a kid, watching the Godzilla marathon that would play on TV. Rather than show footage, Gareth Edwards recorded a special message for the presentation. "There's no bigger or better monster than Godzilla," Edwards said. He added the film deals with themes of man meddling with Mother Nature and Mother Nature putting makind "in its place." Edwards expressed that that the story of Godzilla is highly relevant today and it ties in to the nuclear themes of the original. Of course, he didn't want to give "too much away" regarding the latter.
Warcraft was teased, albeit briefly, with a simple title treatment. To be directed by Duncan Jones (Moon), the film is based on the game series. Tull said they are taking their time with this one and placing a "very high bar" on it, "because, frankly, video game movies have not fared very well." They want a great script and are taking the property very seriously. Expect more updates over the next few months.
Michael Mann and Chris Hemsworth taped a greeting to promote Legendary's Untitled Michael Man Movie. Mann began by enthusing about working with Legendary and then discussed the research he did for this cyber crime/cyber terrorism thriller. Hemsworth said the combo between the script (moreover, its subject matter) and working with Mann was something he "couldn't say no to." All really vague stuff that didn't fill us in on the plot. Look for the film in 2014.
As Above, So Below was next on Tull's agenda and he showed off a title treatment as well as a video "mood piece" that offered a history of the film's backdrop: The catacombs beneath Paris that shelter the remains of millions of bodies - a place where tours and parties take place and where hundreds have gone missing. This is the latest film from the Dowdle brothers who gave us The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Quarantine and Devil and Tull said they're currently shooting the film. On the location, "I always thought it was cool and creepy," said Tull. The film reportedly concerns two archeologists searching for treasure within the catacombs. Of course, something goes wrong.
Director Nic Mathieu joined Tull to talk briefly about Spectral which pits a special ops unit against an army of ghosts ("spectrals") that are causing destruction in Manhattan (Legendary picked the film up on a pitch). The two showed off some concept art: Slide one featured the weaponry used to take down the ghost. They look like modified, futuristic machine guns. Another slide showed a destroyed city street and a ghost rising up in a blast of light, a few soldiers appear to be caught in some sort of shockwave. The film is described as a "modern war movie with an element of the supernatural" and the scope looks nuts. "We harness cutting edge, sci-fi weaponry to wage war on the supernatural," said Mathieu. "We have to do this on a big canvas and bring out the big guns." He added that he liked stories that "force us to look beyond ourselves" and feels Spectral is a movie that does that. The film is currently at the script stage and the hope is to maybe begin shooting in 2014.
Later, I had an opportunity to ask Tull about the prospect of Trick 'r Treat 2 since the first film is an early Legendary project. "People love it, it's something we talked about internally," Tull said, however, don't expect anything soon. Tull explained that they would need to have a great story (or stories, in this case) to move a sequel forward.