Last year at Comic-Con, Legendary confirmed Duncan Jones as director of its videogame adaptation. During Preview Night at this year’s confab, it unveiled the title card for Warcraft, which Universal has slated for March 2016. The Warcraft reveal was part of an invite-only event tonight where Crimson Peak director Guillermo del Toro walked participants through a Gothic Gallery based on one of the sets from the upcoming pic. Needless to say, it was a bit of time and space bender that made a very small space seem very long and dark. Also there was an Oculus VR Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot virtual reality experience that del Toro worked on with Industrial Light and Magic that simulated what it would be like to be one of the pilots of a 250-story monster fighting robot. The Legendary booth opens for the general public tomorrow.
BREAKING: Thomas Tull’s Legendary East said that China Film Co Ltd. has made an eight-figure equity investment in two Legendary Entertainment pics: the Jeff Bridges starrer Seventh Son and Warcraft, the pic based on the Blizzard online game that Duncan Jones is writing and directing. It marks the first time China Film Co has taken a stake in Hollywood films, and if the pics are approved by China‘s government it will distribute them in the booming movie market with support via Legendary East and global distribution partner Universal.
China Film Co is majority-owned by China Film Group and is the largest producer and distributor of Chinese content — CFG has an exclusive grip on Mainland revenue-share releasing. There has been talk that a new government-approved distributor could emerge, but a number of China-watchers are skeptical. Today’s deal stems from the multi-year agreement Legendary East and CFC inked in May 2013 to together produce tentpole-scale films for the global market. As part of the investment structure, CFC will be credited on these films, and its equity recouped, on a worldwide basis, the companies said. Today’s announcement was made by China Film Co chairman La Peikang and Legendary East CEO Peter Loehr.
Legendary and Universal Pictures’ video game adaptation Warcraft has leveled up Daniel Wu and Clancy Brown to its cast in undisclosed roles. California-born actor Wu (New Police Story, The Banquet, Tai Chi Zero) is a star in Hong Kong but has been making moves towards a career stateside with recent pics like Europa Report and RZA’s The Man With The Iron Fists. He’s repped by CAA. Brown is currently in theaters opposite Jason Statham in Homefront and has features When The Game Stands Tall and Trip to Bountiful coming up. The ICM Partners and Pop Art Management client is also a recurring star on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. The pair join already-cast Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbel, Dominic Cooper and Rob Kazinsky in Warcraft, which is written by Charles Leavitt and written and directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), based on the popular Blizzard Entertainment game. Charles Roven, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Alex Gartner are producing. Stuart Fenegan, Jillian Share, Brent O’Connor and Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams are exec producers. Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo and Nick Carpenter from Blizzard will co-produce.
Legendary Pictures and Universal closed deals with Lone Survivor star Ben Foster, Vikings‘ Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbel, Dominic Cooper and Rob Kazinsky to star in Warcraft, the live action adaptation of the Blizzard Entertainment video game. Duncan Jones is directing a Charles Leavitt script that Jones rewrote. Production begins January in Vancouver, and Charles Roven, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Alex Gartner are producing.
Foster, whom Lone Survivor director Peter Berg called the best young actor in Hollywood during our conversation at Deadline’s recent Contenders Event, is finally getting his due. Besides Lone Survivor, Foster is in the home stretch playing Lance Armstrong in the Stephen Frears-directed film about the Tour de France champ’s fall from grace from a doping scandal. He’s repped by WME.
Nearing the end of its best year ever at the domestic box office, Universal announced a slew of release dates today. The recently shaken-up studio has set its reboot of The Mummy for April 22, 2016, and Seventh Son, the Jeff Bridges-Julianne Moore fantasy that Legendary picked up from Warner Bros in August, will bow February 6, 2015, a week before the arrival of Universal’s Fifty Shades Of Grey. Legendary‘s untitled Michael Mann cyberthriller for January 16, 2015. and Blumhouse’s Jennifer Lopez thriller The Boy Next Door hits theaters on January 23, 2015. The studio also is pushing its video game adaptation Warcraft — the first film that had been dated under the new Universal-Legendary partnership — from December 18, 2015 to March 2016. If that vacated date looks familiar, it’s probably because a little flick known as Star Wars: Episode VII was penciled into that slot three weeks ago. Warcraft has that new weekend to itself for now.
So what competition will the newly dated pics face when they arrive a year or two or more from now? The Mummy and The Boy Next Door have no wide openers to contend with as of yet, but the other two do. Seventh Son will go against Sony/Screen Gems’ The Wedding Ringer, starring Kevin Hart, Josh Gad and Kaley Cuoco, and the Michael Mann pic will battle — in a jolt to the neck of Old Hollywood monster movie purists — Fox’s Frankenstein. If you’re scoring along at home, that will be four score and four years after Universal stitched together its Boris Karloff horror classic.
Here’s some background from the studio on its freshly slotted pics:
This marks the first film dated under the new partnership between Universal and Legendary Pictures. As of now Warcraft is going up against Sony’s Inferno on the December 18, 2015 date. Duncan Jones is directing the movie adaptation of the hit Blizzard Entertainment vidgame World Of Warcraft. Jones co-wrote the screenplay with Charles Leavitt. Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing for Atlas Entertainment and Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni for Legendary. Stuart Fenegan, Jillian Share and Brent O’Connor will serve as executive producers. Blizzard’s Chris Metzen will co-produce.