Thomas Tull (born 1970) is an American businessman and film producer. He is currently the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Legendary Pictures. His firm has produced and/or financed several major motion pictures, including the Batman Dark Knight trilogy, The Hangover and sequels, 300, Man of Steel and others.
Life and career
Tull grew up in Endwell, New York, the son of a dental hygienist single mother. As a youth, Tull was an athlete, playing baseball and playing football, earning a football scholarship to university. Tull graduated from nearby Hamilton College in 1992. After college, Tull abandoned plans to become a lawyer and instead went into business, starting a chain of laundromats. Tull went into the field of financing, buying and selling several tax and accounting offices. In the private equity business, Tull rose to President of Convex Group and later as the Chief of Operations of Tax Services of America. His firm helped placed investments into entertainment, where Tull began to learn the entertainment business. After discussing the potential of private equity with a film executive in 2003, Tull quit Convex, raising $600 million in equity to finance movies under the Legendary Pictures banner. The company entered into a partnership in 2005 with Warner Bros. to jointly finance and produce films. In 2009, Tull became the majority shareholder of Legendary, in a buyout of the original investors. The Warner deal was followed by a similar deal with Universal Pictures in 2013. He also helped produce the film Blackhat.
Tull describes himself as a "fanboy" of comics and several of the films produced by Legendary were personal favorites of Tull. Watchmen had been in "development hell" for years when Tull arranged to pick up the rights. 300 had been turned down by other studios. Tull also describes himself as a "gamer", and founded the short-lived Brash Entertainment to work on film-to-video game conversions.
Tull is a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, and the San Diego Zoo. In 2009, Tull became a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team. Tull had been a fan of the Steelers since age four, watching the Steelers take on the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX.
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