HBO Max has been a runaway success since it launched just over a year ago at the height of the pandemic. Using the namesake of their premium brand HBO, WarnerMedia attempted to break into the crowded streaming market with a service of their own. Backed by an industry juggernaut, HBO Max established an enviable catalogue at launch, but what really changed the game was Warner Bros. same-day premieres.
With cinemas closed throughout the year, film releases ground to a halt and even in the grace periods, films struggled to attract audiences. With major releases like Tenet underwhelming at the box office, Warner Bros. turned to releasing new movies straight to the streaming platform. Beginning with The Witches and Wonder Woman 84 the strategy proved successful and HBO Max has continued this model throughout 2021.
Services like these obviously come as a blow to already struggling cinema chains though with Warner Bros. announcing same-day premieres will end in 2022 as a part of a new deal signed with Cineworld. This has left HBO Max looking towards the future and they could now turn to first-look deals with major Hollywood directors like the one recently confirmed to have been signed with Robert Rodriguez.
The visionary director has a very diverse back catalogue of films from Machete to Spy Kids. Rodriguez first rose to widespread acclaim with his 1995 neo-western Desperado, a sequel to his Spanish language directorial debut El Mariachi. He has achieved a cult following in his career for his very visual and action-orientated style of work with further hits including From Dusk till Dawn, Sin City and Alita: Battle Angel .
This deal is initially set to last 2 years and will see Rodriguez bring his new projects to HBO Max first, for potential development into an original series. Expect Rodriquez's mind to be fast at work on new projects but it seems the director also has his eye set on several IP's already owned by WarnerMedia. Speaking about the agreement, he was coy not to reveal any specifics but did confirm his intention to take on some popular franchises.
"It's intriguing to be able to tap into the wealth of iconic IP available across the WarnerMedia portfolio and explore new stories to tell. I'm looking forward to meaningful collaboration with the high calibre creative talent at HBO and HBO Max who have proven they're willing to take risks, challenge norms and tell inclusive stories while producing a wide breadth of quality content."
WarnerMedia obviously has a wealth of bankable franchises to exploit most of which were on show in Space Jam: A New Legacy either directly or indirectly. Popular options that could be ripe for a Rodriguez adaptation include The Iron Giant, A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Clockwork Orange. HBO Max's executive vice-president of original programming, Joey Chavez also echoed the excitement on their end adding:
"Robert's masterful, high concept productions are a perfect match for our HBO Max audiences. We are excited to jump into this partnership and work on brand-new, provocative stories."
Rodriguez is currently working as an executive producer and director on the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett. The spin-off to the already popular The Mandalorian is set to debut on Disney+ in December this year, with shooting believed to have wrapped in June.