The Internet is still abuzz over Warner Bros.' announcement that Ben Affleck will don the Bat-suit for Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel. This news – while indeed controversial – supports the studio's decision to seize more financial (and thereby creative) control over its superhero properties, ultimately leading to the end of its partnership with Legendary Pictures.
Since 2005, Legendary had co-produced 29 films with Warner Bros., including such blockbusters as The Hangover and Dark Knight trilogies, 300 and (of course) Man of Steel. Combined, these projects grossed nearly $9 billion at the worldwide box office and proved that Legendary had a knack for bringing ambitious, fan-favorite projects to the big screen. Now that the company has signed a long-term deal with Universal, the question remains which upcoming releases will bear the Legendary banner.
According to Variety, Universal's Dracula reboot has been selected as Legendary's first collaboration with the studio. That film – not to be confused with NBC's upcoming Dracula television series – stars Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6) as the title character and endeavors to detail how the legendary vampire came to be. Just as Legendary took advantage of Warner Bros.' stable of DC characters with its Batman and Superman films, the company appears to be making a similar move with Universal's array of classic monsters. By this logic, it wouldn't be a surprise if Legendary also decides to support the studio's reboots of The Mummy and Van Helsing.
As part of its five-year co-financing and distribution deal, Legendary is currently reviewing Universal's upcoming slate to determine which projects it'll back next. Variety's report states that next year's Fast & Furious 7 and animated releases from Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me) are not included, though one possibility is director Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic Park 4.
That highly-anticipated film is expected to begin production next year and would be an easy fit for Legendary's current trademarks of geek-friendly comic book films and monster movies like Pacific Rim and the upcoming Godzilla reboot. In addition, Legendary's work with Batman has proven that the company is capable of bringing a dormant franchise back to the top of the box office, and the Jurassic Park franchise will have been dormant for 14 years by the time the fourth entry hits theaters.
Legendary must reportedly perform a final review of the script before any decisions are made, but that doesn't stop us from speculating about just how fitting this partnership might be. After all, it's quite possible that we'll see "from the producers of The Dark Knight trilogy" on a dino-filled poster in the near future.
Do you think that Legendary Pictures is a good fit for the upcoming Dracula and Jurassic Park films? As always, sound off in the comments below.
Dracula hits theaters on August 8, 2014, and Jurassic Park 4 is expected to be released in summer 2015.
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