Legendary Pictures CEO Tull visits Obama, wows students


Arthur King

Ilana Diamant, The Eagle Online Senior Writer

If you go to the movies, chances are you’ll recognize a director or actor’s name. Who here hasn’t heard of Robert Downey Jr. or Steven Spielberg, right? But these are not the only important parts that go into moviemaking. A producer is the person who organizes the film, sometimes helps fund it, and makes sure the thing actually gets made. We tend not to notice these people because their names aren’t the ones splashed on the headlines. Well, though they might not get name recognition, they can certainly profit very much from this profession.

Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary Pictures, visited Obama Academy on Tuesday, November 12th. Tull is set to become the third billionaire in film, behind George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Tull is not a name you would recognize, but this is the man who made hits like The Hangover, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, and Pacific Rim happen. He came from a non-wealthy background and decided to get into film mostly to see if he could make himself successful. He had never pictured himself as a film person before. All he knew was that he loved movies and he had good business skills.

After a short introduction by Mr. Ehman, Thomas Tull spoke for just a few minutes on who he is and what he does, and then opened the talk up for Q&A. One student asked if Legendary being contracted to a new parent company was going to affect his films. Tull responded that the only thing he is really sad about is the fact that he is now barred from making films from the DC Comics universe.

I asked him how he chooses the film he will produce next, and what type or genre of film he is sticking with for now. He says that Legendary knows how to make action movies and superhero movies. If they suddenly chose a gushy romantic comedy, they would be out of their league and the film would suffer. He wants to do what he knows he is good at, and this is clearly a strategy that has been working out for him.

Student Tarika Embar cut to the important stuff: Which is his favorite, Batman or Superman? Tull had to deliberate for a while before landing on Batman. He definitely has soft spots for both heroes, though, and choosing one was hard.

Obama Academy students were able to stay respectful and diligent throughout the meeting. It was a fantastic experience for all those interested in film and we are all very grateful for the visit.