Legendary Entertainment and Tobis, a German independent distributor and producer, have agreed to form a joint venture to “develop, produce and distribute premium German-language serial content.”
The venture was unveiled on Thursday by Joshua Grode, CEO of Legendary, and Tobis principals Timm Oberwelland and Theo Gringel.
The newly formed company will be based at Tobis’ recently opened Munich offices and focus on “high-end scripted series and mini-series driven by exceptional local content and talent.” The company plans to work with traditional German broadcasters and streaming platforms.
“Tobis will take the operational lead on the ground, while Legendary will handle distribution of all content created by the joint venture outside of German-speaking Europe,” the partners said.
“Forging a strategic partnership with Timm and Theo to identify and collaborate on best-in-class episodic content is a key part of our strategy to continue Legendary’s international growth,” said Grode. “We are excited about this partnership and its future growth as we move further into the international television market.”
Added Oberwelland and Gringel: “We are thrilled to be in business with Legendary, an iconic studio and one of the world’s strongest producers and creators of outstanding IP. Together we will create original and exciting new serial content for the German-speaking market and beyond.”
Legendary and Tobis expect the transaction to be finalized and the venture to start operations by the end of the summer, subject to required clearance by Germany’s antitrust agency.
In its 50-year history, Tobis has released more than 400 films theatrically. In recent years, the company has added in-house production to its growing list of activities. It has produced such films as The Most Beautiful Girl in the World and Catweazle. “Its first foray into television, the co-production of pandemic series Sløborn is currently one of the most successful series for local broadcaster ZDF Neo,” the company said.
Legendary Television’s roster includes the reboot of Lost in Space for Netflix, and fantasy noir Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, for Amazon, among others. Upcoming projects include Dune: The Sisterhood for HBO Max, an untitled Monsterverse live-action series for Apple TV+, Paper Girls, based on Brian K. Vaughan’s best-selling graphic novel, for Amazon, as well as the anime series Skull Island and Tomb Raider for Netflix. Legendary’s upcoming local-language productions include Drops of God, based on a hit manga, Portuguese crime heist project Vanda, as well as Spanish thriller You Would Do It Too.