J.J. Abrams has found a new place to set up shop for his Bad Robot production company, as WarnerMedia is set to partner with the mega-producer for future movie and TV projects. But the deal isn't going to come cheap. Following a rather intense and hotly contested bidding war with rival studios and streaming services, WarnerMedia came out on top in a deal that is expected to be in the $500 million range.
According to several new reports, J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath, who serves as co-CEO of Bad Robot, are in final negotiations to set up shop at WarnerMedia. It was previously reported that Apple and WarnerMedia, the conglomerate that formed as the result of last year's merger between AT&T and Warner Bros., were the frontrunners to land Abrams. Ultimately, it seems WarnerMedia was able to best suit what Abrams wants to do with Bad Robot in the future, which is ambitious and will consist of movies, TV shows (both on air and streaming), as well as amusement park attractions and more.
Again, the deal hasn't closed yet but, as has been reported previously, the deal is expected to be in the $500 million range. That would make J.J. Abrams one of the most valuable creatives in all of Hollywood. Recently, hit-making showrunners have been landing huge deals all over the place, with Greg Berlanti, the architect behind the Arrowverse on The CW, landing a $400 million overall deal with Warner Bros. TV, and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy earning a $300 million deal from Netflix. Bad Robot, it's worth noting, has had a deal in place with Warner Bros. TV since 2006.
However, on the movie side, J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot have had a deal in place with Paramount, which is set to expire next year. Abrams, who is the creator behind shows like Alias and Westworld, wanted to unite his company under one roof. Sony, Comcast, Netflix, Apple and Amazon are said to have all hotly pursued the deal. Disney, who has worked with Abrams on two Star Wars movies, The Force Awakens and this year's The Rise of Skywalker, were interested but wasn't named as a serious frontrunner.
WarnerMedia will have vast resources to offer Bad Robot, as they have Warner Bros. for movies, a massive stable of options for TV shows, including HBO, NBC networks and their upcoming streaming service. Apparently, J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath expressed concerns over former Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, who stepped down in March following a sexual misconduct scandal. With Tsujihara out as CEO, it clearly gave Abrams and McGrath the assurance they needed to move forward.
There are those who question J.J. Abrams' value. His biggest hits, in the movie world, have come within existing franchises, such as Star Wars, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. He co-created the Cloverfield franchise and helmed modest hits like Super 8, but is that enough to justify a $500 million deal? Time will tell. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.