Variety has a breaking story(click here), that very well could change not only the film industry, but also the theme park industry as we know it. For the past few months, many fan boys and movie buffs have been wondering where Legendary Pictures would end up when its contract with Warner Bros. ends in 2013. Well, we now have our answer and it could very well change the landscape of the theme parks that we love.
The announcement which was made today, July 10, less than a week from San Diego Comic-Con, confirmed their current plans to continue working with Warner Brothers in order to complete the several films currently on the slate for WB/Legendary. Those films include Pacific Rim, 300: Rise of an Empire, Godzilla, and Seventh Son as well as plans for both Legendary and Warner Brothers’ futures.
What does this mean for Universal? Well Universal plans on expending Legendary Pictures to the small screen with a slate of TV Pilots rumored to be in the works, as well as develop more tentpole films. From the official press release:
Universal and Legendary’s film partnership is a complementary arrangement for both companies. Legendary, which is known for producing and financing successful large scale films, will continue to create and finance tent pole films based on intellectual property that is uniquely appealing to the coveted fanboy audience. And Universal, which has a proven track record of turning films of all shapes and sizes into hits with special skills in growing and nourishing original franchises, will market, co-finance and distribute Legendary films for five years beginning in 2014.
What does this mean for theme park attractions?
Under the terms of the deal Universal and Legendary will jointly identify opportunities to expand Legendary’s franchises and intellectual property into Universal’s theme parks, and Universal will have an opportunity to collaborate with Legendary on projects in China following Legendary’s historic deal with China Film Group.
“Legendary continues to prove that big ideas are relevant and profitable with our global movie-going audience. We couldn’t be more thrilled to embrace the challenges and changing marketplace with Thomas and his team and we are also excited about what opportunities this will bring to our Theme Parks around the world,” said Ron Meyer, President and COO, Universal Studios.
Universal has partnered with Warner Brothers in the past to bring huge names from the big screen to life in the theme park world. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter not only changed the landscape of the theme park industry, but also put industry “innovatears” Disney on notice that what they were doing wasn’t working anymore. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter forced Disney to reevaluate their position on theme park attractions, and change their plans on a number of projects. With another portion of The Wizarding World scheduled to come on line in 2014, the deal with Warner Brothers looks even more lucrative. Add the rumor of a deal to bring Lord of the Rings to theme parks in the coming years, and you have a match that could forever topple the balance of power.
Legendary Entertainment has been responsible for some of the more successful super hero movies in recent memory as well. Christopher Nolan’s Batman, and Zach Snyder’s Man of Steel are huge success, and could make for even better theme park attractions. Currently Universal Orlando is the only place you can see the world of Marvel characters come to life. Disney, who purchased Marvel a few years back, is looking to change that, with plans on bringing Marvel characters to Disneyland in California. Earlier this year they had a huge success with a very small Iron Man exhibit. Disney could very well want to get out of the contract with Universal to bring these characters to Florida as well.
That leaves Universal without superheroes in their parks. Now this a lot of speculation, and there is nothing saying this could ever happen. However, If Universal and Warner Brothers could come to a deal with DC comics, as well as Legendary Entertainment, it’s very possible that Marvel could move out, and DC could move in. The only problem with that would be Six Flags, which has an exclusive theme park contract with the park.
Then there’s the slew of MONSTER hits that are about to hit the big screen. Pacific Rim hits theaters Friday, and could very well be the most talked about film of the year. Giant robots beating the hell out of giant monsters from another realm is a geeks dream come true! Then you have the matter of a little lizard coming from the ocean next year. Godzilla. Anyone who thinks Godzilla wouldn’t make an amazing theme park attraction has had their brain nuked. It would be huge….both figuratively and literally. There’s also the past slate of Legendary films such as Clash of the Titans, Trick R Treat, Jack the Giant Slayer, and Where the Wild Things Are, to name a few that would make ideal theme park (or haunt) attractions.
With recent rumors of King Kong returning to Universal Studios Florida, and Legendary Entertainment moving to Universal we could very well see a battle between King Kong and Godzilla come to life in theme parks. Not to mention, that the amazing minds at Legendary could very well bring that battle back to big screens as well.
All of this is just rumors and speculation right now. With the huge push at Universal Studios Hollywood, however, it could become reality faster than anyone could imagine. Warner Brothers and Universal already have a great dynamic, if they would push it further, who knows what guests could see in theme parks?
Which Legendary Property would you like see as a Theme Park Attraction?
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