Legendary Pictures burst onto the scene with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and has steadily built a reputation for producing broadly appealing genre films since then. The studio is currently riding high on the box office success of Jurassic World (which was co-produced by Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures), after having started off 2015 with the one-two punch of critical/commercial duds Seventh Son and Blackhat.
Marvel, Sony and Paramount have all opted to skip presenting at the 2015 International Comic-Con in San Diego, despite having lavish presentations in previous years. Those major studios reportedly don’t have a lot to show ‘Con attendees right now (many of their big upcoming films aren’t far enough along in development), but that’s not at all the case with Legendary.
Chris Hardwick will host the Legendary Comic-Con 2015 panel on Saturday, July 11th at 2:30 p.m. in Hall H. There will be at least three projects featured during the panel (in addition to the displays on the exhibit hall floor at the convention):
- Crimson Peak, a supernatural horror thriller directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim) and starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, and Tom Hiddleston.
- Krampus, a horror film by Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat) about a boy named Max who accidentally unleashes an ancient European monster during the holidays.
- Warcraft, the long-awaited adaptation of the wildly popular video game series, as directed by Duncan Jones (Source Code, Moon).
That might not be all, of course. Legendary has at least two films in the works that seem primed for a “surprise event” during its presentation. Last year’s presentation from the company ended in the announcement of a new King Kong film that’s currently titled Kong: Skull Island. In the ensuing year, two of its stars, Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons, were nominated for Oscars (with Simmons also winning), and it would bring the movie full circle if Legendary were to preview the movie at this year’s Comic-Con.
The other contender for a surprise plot is The Great Wall, a historical adventure that is set during the construction of the famed Chinese landmark. The movie is notable for its intriguing premise, high-wattage leading man Matt Damon, and for being the English-language debut of the acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers). Not much is out there about this film, but a Comic-Con preview would certainly whet fans’ appetites.
It’s easy to lament the lack of originally in Hollywood, but Legendary’s upcoming slate has an appealing mix of fresh stories and potentially exciting reconsiderations of old properties like King Kong. The talent involved is second to none; it’s hard to go wrong with del Toro as a master of original visions, and Jones seems like the right choice to guide a long-gestating property like Warcraft to a visually stunning finish. Even Krampus, the most obscure of these five films, comes from a cult director and features an appealing cast (including Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Allison Tolman and David Koechner).
Most of these films carry their fair shares of risks, and it’s unlikely they’ll all connect with audiences in the end. Still, if one or more of these five movies makes a strong impression at this year’s convention, we’ll be talking about Legendary as one of the event’s winners for sure.
The Legendary SDCC 2015 panel will be held in Hall H on Saturday, July 11th at 2:30 p.m.
Crimson Peak opens in U.S. theaters on October 16th, 2015, followed by Krampus on December 4th, 2015, Warcraft on June 10th, 2016, The Great Wall on November 23rd, 2016, and Kong: Skull Island on March 10th, 2017.
Source: Legendary Pictures