Here's the story boiled down to the bare bones.
Warner Bros. is a major movie studio based in Hollywood.
Legendary Pictures is a major American film financier/production company that has a partnership deal with Warner Bros. which is behind such hits as 300, Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise, and the upcoming reboot of the Superman franchise. This partnership centers on a lot of the big "fanboy" franchise type pictures that dominate the summer box office.
Village Roadshow is a major movie producer/financier based in Australia, that also has a very lucrative partnership with Warner Bros. that's resulted in dozens of movies of every variety.
Warner Bros. is currently starting up production of a movie adaptation of All You Need Is Kill to be directed by Doug Liman. It's from a Japanese "Light Novel" which can be summed up as a cross between Groundhog Day and War Of The Worlds. A soldier is caught in a time loop reliving the first day of an alien invasion where he gets killed again and again, but has to change how the day ends to save himself and the planet Earth.
In the movie version the soldier caught in the loop will be played by...
Actor Tom Cruise, who has seen a bit of a career comeback with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and a bit of a setback with the musical Rock of Ages.
Sounds like a perfect partnership between Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, and Village Roadshow.
Legendary Pictures has pulled out of the $140 production. In fact, they are denying ever being involved in the first place, despite what the Warner Bros. press office said earlier.
Now we have a bit of a mystery.
Why has Legendary dropped out?
Well, the prevailing theory involves Tom Cruise and money.
Tom can still sell tickets around the world, especially in the action genre as MI:GP proved.
But Legendary might be thinking back to what happened to Mission Impossible 3.
MI3 made a lot of money worldwide. However, so much was spent developing, making, and marketing the film, that any profit margin that film had was thinner than a starving starlet.
A lot the reason why Tom Cruise was in the career wilderness wasn't just because of his couch jumping on Oprah. It was because a lot of the blame for MI3's troubled and expensive production was put squarely on his 4 foot 9 inch frame.
While Legendary's movies have big budgets, they pride themselves on putting every cent spent in production on the screen. Also, when it comes to casting parts, they show a preference for "actors," over "stars." Check their filmography and you'll see that the overwhelming majority of their films do not star so-called "A-Listers" like Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp.
That's because stars can be a lot more expensive than the cost of their fee. A-listers can demand rewrites, hiring, firing, and re-shoots, and then there's the costs of the perks, including hotels, trailers, entourages, per-diems, and hundreds of other expenses that just keep adding up when an A-List star's involved.
Legendary's strategy seems to be to recruit talent that's on the way up, make them stars, and make sure that they're already signed up for the sequels.
So I can understand why they didn't want to get involved with All You Need Is Kill.
That's my theory, what's yours.
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