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WarnerMedia inks $500 million mega-deal with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot

By Josh Weiss
JJ Abrams

Like his personal hero and mentor, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams just became something of an untouchable titan in Hollywood with a massive partnership between WarnerMedia, himself, and his production company, Bad Robot.

As reported by Variety, this "mega-deal," valued at an impressive $500 million, covers the creation of films, shows, games, theme parks, and other media between now and 2024. As we reported last November, mega-deals like this are only reserved for majorly successful players like Spielberg. Under this arrangement, Abrams will enjoy benefits like reserved theatrical releases set aside just for him. This also means that Bad Robot will be moving away from its collaborations with Paramount, albeit with the caveat that it completes all existing obligations to that studio. Paramount and Universal (which owns SYFY and SYFY WIRE) were in the bidding war for Abrams as well, but Warner obviously came away victorious.

“We are extremely excited about the potential to deliver remarkable and memorable stories and characters across multiple platforms to audiences around the world. J.J., Katie [McGrath, co-CEO of Bad Robot and Abrams' wife] and all of Bad Robot bring extraordinary vision, exquisite filmmaking, and exemplary industry leadership to this endeavor and our company,” said WarnerMedia head honcho, John Stankey, in a statement run by Variety. “Across all forms of content, we are uniquely positioned to offer our creative partners a multitude of platforms to realize their artistic goals and ambitions, and to ensure that their stories have the best possible opportunity to connect with the right audience.”

JJ Abrams Katie McGrath

Known for his prolific role as producer on shows like Lost, Felicity, Alias, FringeRevolutionAlmost HumanWestworld, and Castle Rock, Abrams has cemented himself as one of the entertainment industry's best genre storytellers. While his "Mystery Box" approach to storytelling has had its critics over the years, there's no denying that the writer/director/producer is an absolute Renaissance man who knows how to take the industry in fresh and exciting directions. As a filmmaker behind the camera, Abrams is known for rebooting the Star Trek franchise on the big screen, writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, and paying homage to Spielberg's heyday with 2011's Super 8.

“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. We can’t wait to get started," Abrams said in his own statement to Variety.

Abrams' next theatrical release will be Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, which he directed and co-wrote. Chris Terrio (Justice League) helped pen the screenplay. The long-awaited conclusion to the Skywalker Family saga hits theaters everywhere on Friday, Dec. 20.