It's a big week for Legendary Pictures. Perhaps we should say it's a monstrous week with Godzilla finally hitting theaters wide tomorrow with early screenings beginning this evening. The Gareth Edwards-directed reboot topped Screen Rant's list of most anticipated 2014 films and embodies much of what Legendary is attempting to deliver with their slate of productions.
I attended Legendary's first ever solo Comic-Con panel back in 2011 and the presentation was clean and simple. Filmmakers and stars came up on stage, in a relatively intimate room, and excitedly spoke about their early-in-development projects. There were four at the time (although they hinted at Godzilla news coming soon), all based on the goal of delivering creative and imaginative, high concept and high fantasy films. Only one, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, has actually hit theaters since then. The other three included Seventh Son, which was delayed again to 2015; Mass Effect, the highly anticipated video game adaptation that's gone completely silent, and Paradise Lost, which was killed off two years ago.
Since that time a few things have changed for Legendary beyond the development woes of some of those projects, the most important being their separation from Warner Bros. and new partnership with Universal Pictures. But as a production company, they have some major projects in development with various distributors including Christopher Nolan's Interstellar at Paramount and del Toro's Crimson Peak at Universal. They're also involved with the productions of Jurassic World and Warcraft, both with partner Universal as well.
Needless to say, the mandate about high concept, high fantasy films, still stands, as evidenced above - which begs the question of what their mysterious 2016 project from Legendary Universal just scheduled for November 4, 2016. Their note to us had nothing more than the date. THR dubs it the "Untitled 2016 Event Project" and report that it's something new and possibly based on a recognizable IP, but it's not a prequel, sequel or remake.
We believe it's a tentpole, it's big and it's going to be announced soon. We don't have any hints beyond that so we can only speculate based on what properties we know Legendary has and could be working on and that includes the aforementioned Mass Effect or an adaptation of Marcus Sakey's sci-fi novel Brilliance with Will Smith (read our Sakey interview!). The bigger "event" of those two would clearly be Mass Effect, and as we discussed on the site yesterday in our feature Are Video Games The Next Big Thing? - and for years on our coverage of video game adaptions on Screen Rant and sister site Game Rant - that's definitely happening. Assassin's Creed by Ubisoft is going to be huge and it's coming next year starring Michael Fassbender. And we can't talk about this topic without mentioning Warcraft which impressed us all with concept footage at last year's Comic-Con and also hits theaters in early 2016.
With E3 2014, the largest video game trade show, happening in just a few weeks - perhaps the timing of the date could precede an announcement for the long-awaited Mass Effect adaptation that game publisher Electronic Arts could unveil during their June 9th press conference. BioWare and EA are currently developing a fourth Mass Effect game and the flagship title has a lot riding on its release since it needs to make up for how the trilogy concluded (not the best reception from fans) and relaunch the series for the next-generation of video game consoles. This property is very important to Legendary boss Thomas Tull, so we like to think this property is what's coming in November 2016. It would make sense given the development of the game series and the current trend of film adaptations.
If Brilliance or Mass Effect are not what this project is though, there's always the surprise (read: far less likely) possibilities that Universal is doing something with their one Marvel property, Namor, or perhaps the adaptation of Hot Wheels, or another del Toro film in At the Mountains of Madness. What do you want the film to be?
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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