Led by Thomas Tull, Legendary Pictures has co-produced some great films including The Dark Knight Trilogy, 300, Observe and Report, Watchmen, Inception, The Town, The Hangover, and Where the Wild Things Are. And they aren’t slowing down. In 2013 alone they’ve got Pacific Rim, 300: Rise of an Empire, Man of Steel, Seventh Son, 42, and The Hangover Part 3. And this list doesn’t include all the other cool projects they’re currently developing.
With 42 arriving in theaters this weekend, I landed an exclusive interview with Tull where we discussed a wide variety of subjects. However, rather than post the entire conversation today, I’ll be offering selected parts over the next few days with the full interview online later this week. Up first, we discuss Legendary’s remake of Godzilla, the first test screening of Pacific Rim, and why they’re making two really big monster movies at the same time. Hit the jump for more.
One of the things that impressed me about Legendary is the way they’ve tried to bring the fans from the first day of shooting. A few weeks ago, we posted a Legendary YouTube video showing director Gareth Edwards‘ rolling cameras on Godzilla. I asked Tull if we’re going to get more on set videos from not only Godzilla, but other projects:
“We want to make sure that we’re connecting with our fan base. We want to make sure that you’re appropriately surprised and have something to look forward to when you go to see the movie. You don’t want to see all the way behind the curtain, but we want to make sure that we’re connecting with our fan base. We want to make sure our fan base knows how passionate we are and how important it is to us to bring these things to life and that were just as big of fans as you guys are. We want to connect, and in a world of social media and the outlets we have, we want to come up with all kinds of ways to have fans share the excitement and the experience as it builds towards launch.”
With Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim hitting theaters July 12th, Warner Bros. and Legendary have done a few test screenings. In fact, del Toro recently told me how the last one played like a rock concert. And from the few people I know that have seen the film, it sounds like it’s going to be an awesome ride. Towards the end of the interview I asked Tull’s reaction to seeing the film:
“Euphoria, honestly, just because… look, its gets thrown around way too much in our business that “you’ve never seen this before. This is something completely different.” And that’s the other side of things, audiences are constantly online and so forth talking about how Hollywood just recycles things and there’s truth to that, but audiences keep rewarding those things by going to them. So I think what I’m excited about is this is something different on a size and scale you haven’t seen before, and Guillermo del Toro is truly a genius. I’m in love with the movie and I cannot wait until people get a chance to see it.”
Finally, while you often hear of two different studios making similar types of movies (e.g. Olympus Has Fallen/White House Down, Deep Impact/Armageddon), you don’t often see one studio doing them at the same time. But even though Pacific Rim and Godzilla are two different types of movies, they both feature very large monsters at the center. With Legendary producing both films, I asked Tull if he had any concerns about making two monster movies at the same time. I also asked if the technology has now finally reached a place where you can tell these stories in a way that hasn’t been done before:
“I think it’s a little bit of both. The movies are very different tonally. Pacific Rim is a big, giant world that was created, and when somebody sits down with me and says, “Look, we’re going to get to work with Guillermo and it’s giant robots versus giant monsters.” We’re in, we’re doing that. So that’s a movie where you obviously sit back and take all that in and enjoy the ride. Godzilla, it was very important for us to take it back to its original DNA in the first Japanese film, so just tonally it’s a much different movie. And with Godzilla, those of us who grew up with Godzilla, you kind of bring whatever pre-disposition you have to the movie and the experience. For us, all I can tell you is that we’re making the Godzilla movie that we want to see. So I’m not worried at all because they’re just completely different.”
Look for more with Tull tomorrow, and here’s everything we’ve posted on 42.