- JJ Abrams is close to landing one of the biggest recent deals in Hollywood.
- The filmmaker and TV creator, who was behind such hits as “Lost” and “The Force Awakens,” has been courted by many of the top studios in Hollywood for a deal with his Bad Robot production company.
- WarnerMedia and Apple have now emerged as frontrunners, according to reports from Variety and Deadline.
- A deal, which could be announced as early as this summer, could be worth nearly $500 million.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” director JJ Abrams is one of the most sought-after creators in Hollywood right now.
Media giants like Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Sony, and WarnerMedia – and some of their top executives – have been courting the filmmaker and TV creator, behind such hits as “Lost” and “Alias,” in the hopes of winning a production deal with him and his Bad Robot production company.
Two suitors have now reportedly emerged in the lead. Abrams is said to be leaning toward signing a deal with either Apple or WarnerMedia, Variety reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.
WarnerMedia is reportedly the frontrunner.
Abrams already has deep ties to the company. His Bad Robot production company previously had a pact with Warner Bros. TV that went back to 2006, and lead to shows like “Westworld,” “Castle Rock,” and “Fringe.”
Variety reported that WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey has been leveraging that relationship in his pitch to Abrams, and dangling the many possible destinations for Abrams’ content, should he sign with WarnerMedia. The company has a film arm where it can funnel major theatrical releases. It owns HBO, where Bad Robot already has “Westworld.” And it’s rolling out a new streaming service later this year that could become the home for other premium programming.
Deadline reported that Apple’s courtship of Abrams, meanwhile, has centered on its technology – given Abrams’ penchant for pushing the boundaries of storytelling – and upcoming streaming service, Apple TV Plus.
Bad Robot is currently developing at least three series with Apple, including an adaptation of Stephen King’s “Lisey’s Story;” “Little Voice,” with Sara Bareilles; and “My Glory Was I Had Such Friends,” starring Jennifer Garner.
It’s still anyone’s game. No decision has been made yet, both Variety and Deadline reported. Variety said to expect an announcement in early summer.
But, whoever the winner is, Abrams’ deal is expected to be massive for the industry. Variety valued the potential deal at nearly $500 million.
At that rate, it would outweigh other recent blockbuster deals, like Warner Bros. TV’s $400 million four-year pact with showrunner Greg Berlanti, Netflix’s $300 million five-year deal with showrunner Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes’ $100 million or more deal with the streaming giant, and Michael Schur’s $25-million-a-year contract with Universal.