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Legendary Turns to Mary Parent to Steady Their Course

Legendary Turns to Mary Parent to Steady Their Course

When a company runs into uneven box office, somebody usually gets the ax.

In the case of Legendary Entertainment, which had a financing and producing role in many top-drawer DC comic-book franchises at Warner Bros. (“The Dark Knight”), CEO Thomas Tull wanted a stronger hand in being able to claim real production responsibility for the movies carrying his Legendary banner. When he couldn’t come to terms with the studio, he left Warner Bros. and moved Legendary over to Universal.

While Legendary is also partnering with Universal on such films as “Jurassic World,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Steve Jobs,” the company’s “Seventh Son,” “Krampus,” “Black Hat” and “Crimson Peak” were box office also-rans. Legendary was recently acquired by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co.

Now producer Mary Parent, who while she did not win Best Picture for “The Revenant,” can boast three Oscar wins for the arduous production, is returning to the executive ranks as Legendary’s new Vice Chairman of Worldwide Production, taking the reins from departing president Jon Jashni. Legendary announced Thursday the departure of TV and Digital Media chief Bruce Rosenblum. Parent will run all creative areas of the company: film, television, digital, mobile and new media.  

Tull has tapped a proven winner to reassure the industry that a veteran, well-connected exec with strong talent relationships can keep Legendary on course. Parent is that rare talent who can shepherd tentpole productions from inception and on the ground during production. Parent was a star production exec at New Line Cinema under Michael De Luca, ran production with Scott Stuber at Stacey Snider’s Universal (“Meet the Fockers,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” “Serenity”) and produced Universal movies with Stuber (“Role Models,” “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins,” “The Kingdom,” and “You, Me and Dupree”). She briefly ran beleaguered MGM at the height of the recession, before the studio was eventually overhauled and turned around by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum. 

Since going indieprod, Parent has produced seven movies in four years, including Paramount’s “Noah” and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” as well as Legendary’s “Pacific Rim,” “Godzilla,” “Crimson Peak,” and currently filming “Kong: Skull Island,” starring Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, JK Simmons, and Thomas Mann. She now has the chance to help to build a powerful new company with plenty of resources behind her. 

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