Silicon Valley venture capitalist and uber-investor Jim Breyer of Accel Partners was busy inking a $40 million investment in Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures on the day that Forbes magazine recently interviewed him. The news had not previously been disclosed until the issue came out today. But I’ve learned that this is not a straight investment: instead, Breyer purchased the shares from a previous Legendary investor whose identity is being kept secret. Through this, Breyer, a longtime friend of Tull’s, also joins the Legendary board. I’ve also learned so does Dick Cook, the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios. They join Joe Roth, the former Walt Disney and Fox movie boss turned producer, and others. The very popular Cook has been laying low since he was ousted from Disney though his movies Alice In Wonderland and Toy Story 3 were mega-earners for the Mouse House in 2010 and his Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise releases its fourquel this summer. (Johnny Depp almost didn’t want to do #4 without Cook …) I’m really glad to see Dick getting back into the game.
Given that Legendary has a seven-year, 40-picture deal with Warner Bros, “the next time you pay to stream a Warner Bros movie with Facebook credits, Accel will take a cut from both sides,” Forbes said. Palo Alto-based Breyer oversaw Accel’s $12.7 million investment in Facebook in 2005, when the social media company was valued at $100 million. It’s now estimated to be worth $50 billion. Prior to this, Breyer was a board member of Marvel Entertainment, which complimented Tull’s own entertainment tastes. Tull has previously raised private equity and hedge fund financing from ABRY Partners, AIG Direct Investments, Bank of America Capital Investors, Columbia Capital, Falcon Investment Advisors and M/C Venture Partners. Pretty soon I’m going to need a score card to keep all the intersecting entertainment worlds and platforms straight.