The same day that talks SoftBank and DreamWorks Animation cooled off, the Japanese telco/Internet company has turned its attention to Legendary Pictures. Sources tell Deadline that Softbank is looking to take an equity stake in Thomas Tull’s studio, which aligned with NBCUniversal last year. Legendary reps could not be reached for comment.
The No. 3 wireless provider in its home country, and a player in the U.S. following its $21.6B acquisition last year of Sprint, SoftBank also is the largest stakeholder in recent IPO phenom Alibaba, with a 32% stake worth more than $71 billion, and owns a 41.9% voting stake in Yahoo Japan. And the company’s vision certainly includes entertainment: Word spread over the weekend that CEO Masayoshi Son’s company was looking to acquire Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DWA, but reports surfaced today that those talks have cooled. The DWA bid comes after SoftBank’s 2013 purchase of online game company GungHo Online Entertainment and Finland’s Supercell and its failed takeover bid for Universal Music.
Tull’s company’s credits include such blockbusters as the Dark Knight and Hangover films and worked on the upcoming features Interstellar and Unbroken.