The team is for sale, everybody knows that. We've had names like Peter O'Malley and Steven Cohen mentioned as possible suitors. Just today [EDIT: The Tull connection was actually made last week here.], after we successfully put liquid heat in Stephen Strasburg's jock, a new name was thrown out there.
He is a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers
He runs the hugely-successful Legendary Pictures and is responsible for bringing us such films as Inception, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, and 300
He's one of the most powerful men in Hollywood - Thomas Tull, the hero San Diego deserves.
Before we delve deeper into this, I wanted to share how Tull's interest was reported. As with most anything these days, we have twitter to thank for stoking the fire. It all started with a tweet from a hotel employee with one hilarious handle: @BigNuts55.
Mr. Big Nuts, after perusing his timeline, works at a Downtown hotel and, for whatever reason, wanted to share some juicy gossip with some of the San Diego media. First, he tries Marty and Posner.
@MartyCaswell @sdutPosner I can confirm Mr.Padre met w/ Thomas Tull for at least 2hrs at a local hotel. Tull wants this team bad— SameL 619 (@BigNuts55) May 15, 2012
Jay must have sicced Tim Sullivan on him because Tim actually hit up Big Nuts to try to get more info.
@BigNuts55 This was today? What hotel?— Tim Sullivan (@sdutSullivan) May 15, 2012
Big Nuts fed Tim some more details (Tull didn't meet with Moores, but Tony Gwynn!) that ended up checking out. Big Nuts was right! Shame on you for doubting him!
@sdutSullivan Gwynn&Tull met 9-11am. Tull went alone frm the hotel 2 Petco right after. "wanna come here more often, not just 4 comic con"— SameL 619 (@BigNuts55) May 15, 2012
A tip checks out: Prospective #Padres buyer Thomas Tull (Legendary Pictures) met today with Tony Gwynn. And probably not about Comic-Con.— Tim Sullivan (@sdutSullivan) May 15, 2012
So there you have it. Pretty fascinating, eh? Just don't narc on our new source, he's apprehensive about losing his job.
@sdutSullivan yes, today. Just a few hrs ago. I cant say the name of the hotel, they pay the rent!— SameL 619 (@BigNuts55) May 15, 2012
Anyways, back to Tull. He's not a big name in sports, like Mark Cuban or Magic Johnson, or even the O'Malley family. However, he is a truly innovative mind in Hollywood who pioneered a new wave in film financing.
As the CEO of Legendary Entertainment, with the help of some deep-pocketed Wall Street investors and Warner Brothers, he has helmed productions for 14 $100 million GBO films. I listed a few of the more noteworthy titles above, but head to Wikipedia to see the full list. Sure, there's a bomb or two in there, but the track record is very excellent for such a volatile business. Legendary is now valued well north of $1 billion.
Take some time to read up on him. Here, I did the link-wrangling for you:
- LA Times story from 2010 on his buying out of Legendary's original investors
- An AllThingsD interview where he touches on social media
- Deadline with the scoop on his efforts in China
- The Wall Street Journal talked to him in 2009. I love that he's a comic book geek.
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on how he steered The Dark Knight Rises production to Pittsburgh
This is the kind of guy, who is young, successful, powerful, articulate, and forward-thinking that any team would love to have as its owner.
A silent guardian, a watchful protector, a dark night.