Late last year, studios began vying to sign a “megadeal” with J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions which was valued at around $500 million. Disney, Apple, and WarnerMedia were reportedly the top contenders, but since Abrams has been working with Warner Bros. TV for the past thirteen years, WarnerMedia ended up winning out in the end. After months of hammering out the details, that megadeal has now been officially finalized, and you can read about what it’ll mean for the future of Abrams and Bad Robot below.
Variety reports that the deal begins immediately and initially will run through 2024, making it a five-year commitment that could potentially be extended in the years to come. Financial details were not disclosed, but $500 million seems to be the assumed base, with insiders telling Variety that it “could be worth even more if certain performance-related targets are reached.”
“I am grateful for the chance to write, produce and direct work for this incredible company, and to help create films and series with a diverse and vast collection of inspiring storytellers,” Abrams said in a statement. “We can’t wait to get started.” Abrams runs Bad Robot with his wife Katie McGrath, who serves as the co-CEO.
Under the new deal, Bad Robot will make movies, TV shows, games, and “other entertainment content” for WarnerMedia. A video game division, Bad Robot Games, was launched last year, and will continue to develop mobile, PC, and console games both of the AAA and indie variety. On the movie front, Bad Robot had a lengthy deal set up at Paramount Pictures, and while that pact has come to an end, Bad Robot will reportedly honor its existing obligations to that studio – although it’s unclear exactly what those obligations are. “We still have a number of great stories to tell together, and for that, I feel exceedingly lucky,” Abrams said of Paramount.
The Peak TV streaming era has proven to be a bountiful one for several A-list creators who have secured massive deals over the past year or so. Now Abrams follows in the footsteps of people like Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, Shonda Rhimes, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. In the wake of Warner Bros. recently losing its studio head, this partnership looks to make that studio a major player again and put them in a position to try to better compete with Disney, who seemingly dominates all aspects of the entertainment sphere right now.
Bad Robot already has a lot on its plate, including Castle Rock, Westworld, and the upcoming Lovecraft Country, and Demimonde, the first show that Abrams has written since Fringe. Bad Robot is also developing a show called They Both Die at the End, and it has three shows lined up at AppleTV+: Sara Bareilles’s Little Voice, the Julianna Moore-starring Stephen King adaptation Lisey’s Story, and My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, which will reteam star Jennifer Garner with Bad Robot after she led the spy series Alias from 2001 to 2006.
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