Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games, is dismissing a Variety report that the privately held Cary firm is in talks to be acquired by Legendary Pictures.

“It’s just another rumor,” Rein told

“We’ve already publicly announced that we’re working with Legendary Pictures on the ‘Gears of War’ movie and that we have the utmost respect for Thomas Tull and his organization,” Rein added.

Tull is head of Legendary Pictures and has considerable experience in the videogame industry.

has produced mega-selling hits “Gears of War” and “Unreal Tournament.” Rumors of an Epic acquisition have circulated widely before, with gaming giants Microsoft and Electronics Arts mentioned as suitors. But Epic executives have always played down such talk.

However, and is tied in to Epic’s recent venture into the movie world. Gears of War has sold more than 5 million copies since its release two years ago, and the highly anticipated sequel is due for release on Nov. 7.

Epic has turned “Gears,” which is published by Microsoft, into an entertainment franchise: Movie rights, a trilogy of books, graphic comics, toys and action figures.

Legendary Pictures is the latest suitor, according to Variety.

“Multiple sources close to the companies confirmed that talks are under way, though execs at both Legendary and Epic declined to comment,” wrote Ben Fritz in Variety.

Legendary Pictures is a so-called “film financier” that is backed by private equity. According to Variety, Legendary is a backer of New Line, which is contracted with Epic to make a “Gears” movie.

Epic also is developer of the Unreal game development engine, which is one of the most popular in the videogame industry. It is used to help create a wide variety of titles across virtually every major game platform.