WarnerMedia Wins Bidding War for J.J Abrams’ Bad Robot with $500 Million Partnership

The sweepstakes for J.J Abrams’ Bad Robot has officially come to an end.

Today, THR confirmed that WarnerMedia is in final negotiations for a new partnership with Bad Robot. The company, which Abrams operates alongside his wife and co-CEO Katie McGrath, could be valued at in the $500 million range when all is finished. That would put Bad Robot’s deal at the top of the recent wave of multi-million dollar deals prolific producers including Greg Berlanti ($400 million from Warner Bros. TV), Ryan Murphy ($300 million from Netflix) and Shonda Rhimes ($100 million from Netflix).

Under the agreement, Abrams and company will continue to create and develop new projects for WarnerMedia as well as supervise other producers across film, TV and digital platforms. Insiders indicated that the process of moving Bad Robot’s feature film deal over from Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures is already under way.

In addition to WarnerMedia, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Comcast and Sony Entertainment were among those who met or explored a deal with Bad Robot. Abrams, McGrath, as well other head of Television Ben Stephenson met with various studios to to discuss potential deals which considering partnering with WarnerMedia. Both Apple and Sony came close to securing a deal with Bad Robot, but it was WarnerMedia that emerged as the top choice when it became clear that Abrams and co. prioritized being part of a larger company with TV and film distribution — including WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service.

Abrams is currently in the process of editing Star Wars: Episode IX for Disney, and has multiple TV projects in the works. Abrams is prepping an HBO drama, Lovecraft Country with Jordan Peele, and also serves as an executive producer on Castle Rock and Westworld (alongside showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan). Abrams also is developing Demimonde for HBO, the first series he has written and created since Alias. Abrams and Bad Robot also have three shows in the works at Apple: Stephen King adaptation Lisey‘s Storystarring Julianne Moore, Sara Bareilles’ Little Voice, and Jennifer Garner’s My Glory Was I Had Such Friends.

With WarnerMedia expected to unveil its direct-to-consumer subscription platform in the fourth quarter (as a beta), securing Abrams for Warner was considered a high priority for the independent studio.

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