After reports of Apple inquiring a potential purchase of A24 and Amazon picking up MGM Studios for a hefty $8.45 billion, it looks like another major production studio might end up on the auction block. Variety is reporting that Legendary Entertainment could be looking to be sold or merge with another company,. This comes after Bloomberg revealed that Legendary was working with investment bank LionTree LLC to develop possible deals.
Any deal would likely be for less than than the $3.5 billion that Dalian Wanda paid to acquire Legendary in 2016 from founder Thomas Tull, because that pact included the assumption of substantial debt.
Legendary is behind recent releases such as Godzilla vs. Kong and the upcoming sci-fi epic Dune from director Denis Villeneuve. In the past, the company has had distribution deals with Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., however, there have been tension with the partnering companies over the years. There were multiple reports that Legendary was on the cusp of suing WarnerMedia over blocking a deal to offload Godzilla vs. Kong at Netflix for around $200 million. Instead, WarnerMedia with little notice announced plans to add Godzilla vs. Kong and Dune to their big day-and-date slate, that would the two pricey films dropped on HBO Max at the same time as theaters.
A sale could essentially dissolve distribution deals, meaning that future Dune and Monsterverse (pending Toho extending their rights deal) franchise installments could find a new home depending if there is a sale or merger on the horizon. That is unless WarnerMedia believes they want to acquire Legendary.
There a bunch of projects still in development including Dune: Part Two and a handful of Monsterverse movies such as the rumored Son of Kong from director Adam Wingard. It remains to be seen what this could mean for those films and other various things being worked on behind the scenes.