J.J. Abrams Bidding War Won By WarnerMedia as Bad Robot Nears $500M Partnership


According to The Live Feed, Following a months-long courting process with many suitors, WarnerMedia is in final negotiations for a new partnership with Bad Robot once the latter closes out its arrangement with Paramount Pictures.

It’s not clear how many years the new agreement stretches for, but sources have estimated that any new pact for Bad Robot will be valued somewhere around $500 million.

Under the deal, Abrams and company will continue to create and develop new projects for WarnerMedia and supervise other producers across film, TV and digital platforms. The process of moving Bad Robot’s feature film deal over from Paramount has reportedly already begun.

Abrams, who is currently editing Star Wars: Episode IX for Disney, was among the top producers in Warners' TV fold at a time when brand-name showrunners are in increasingly high demand. Warners, Comcast and Disney are planning streaming services in a bid to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Apple, with the latter entering the originals business last year. Netflix helped explode the market for proven hit-makers when it signed Rhimes and, later, Murphy to nine-figure overall deals, prompting both producers to exit their longtime homes at ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television. Between the ramp-up for content produced in-house for those forthcoming streaming platforms and the feud between writers and agents, demand for top writers and producers has further elevated these already eye-popping mega-deals for top creators.

On the TV side, Abrams is prepping an HBO drama, Lovecraft Country (with Jordan Peele), and also executive produces Castle Rock and Westworld alongside showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan. (The latter duo exited their longtime home at Warners for a lucrative five-year, $150 million deal with Amazon Studios.) Abrams also is working on Demimonde, the first series he has written and created since Alias. The genre drama landed at HBO following a multiple-outlet bidding war, with the premium cabler also landing the hot script They Both Die at the End from Abrams and The Other Two breakout Chris Kelly. Abrams and Bad Robot also have three shows in the works at Apple: Stephen King adaptation Lisey's Story, starring Julianne Moore; Sara Bareilles' Little Voice; and the Jennifer Garner vehicle My Glory Was I Had Such Friends. All three were picked up straight to series amid competition from multiple outlets.