Last week came shocking news that may completely alter how Hollywood works even after the pandemic: Rather than wait for movie theaters to be safe again, Warner Bros. moving their entire 2021 slate — some 21 films — to HBO Max, the streamer owned by their parent company. It’s a move that could change the industry. And it has some big detractors, namely the production company behind some of the biggest titles they’re planning on sending straight-to-streaming. (Though the films will also be released to theaters, on the same day.)
Sources tell Deadline that Legendary Entertainment, which has had a partnership with the studio titan going back to 2005’s Batman Begins, “either has or will send legal letters” to Warner Bros., perhaps very soon. They’re allegedly unhappy that two of their largest projects, Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong, will get a day-and-date release strategy, hitting the big and small screens at once.
According to the source, Legendary was given no advance warning before the announcement. What’s more, they put a whopping 75% of the sci-fi adaptation’s $165 million budget. They also reportedly considered selling Godzilla vs. Kong to Netflix for $250 million before WarnerMedia blocked the sale.
This is big if true, but there has still been no confirmation either way. Legendary have helped supply Warner Bros. with some of their biggest titles, from the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy to The Hangover trilogy to 300 to Pacific Rim, and the Godzilla/Kong movies. They also work with Universal, Paramount, and Netflix. Stay tuned for more.