J.J. Abrams has a track record for producing beloved television series: Alias, Lost, Felicity, and Fringe are just a few acclaimed shows on his long list of producer credits. Most recently, Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, have crafted another hit with HBO’s Westworld. Through Abrams’ signature mix of sci-fi, drama, and mystery, Westworld quickly became the fall season’s runaway hit.
Now, after the success of Westworld (which has already been renewed for a second season), HBO is ready to jump back into the saddle with Abrams. They’re set to collaborate on an upcoming project that would be another sci-fi series that fits right into Bad Robot’s creative wheelhouse.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Bad Robot Productions would produce Glare, an hour-long drama exploring the colonization of another planet. The drama comes from Warner Bros. television which signed Abrams to a “rich overall deal.”
After a run of successful shows, Bad Robot knows how to hit it out of the park, and they’re putting a strong team in place in order to see Glare through to fruition. With Game of Thrones moving toward shortened seasons and Westworld not returning until at least 2018, there is a giant sci-fi/fantasy void sitting in HBO’s schedule just waiting to be filled up. You can be sure that Bad Robot will do everything within their power to ensure that Glare gets greenlit. Enemy screenwriter, Javier Gullón, is writing the script and will also serve as executive producer. Bad Robot’s head of development, Ben Stephenson, will also executive produce alongside Gullón and Abrams.
Abrams’ “mystery box” approach to genre television isn’t for everyone, however, those who do enjoy it often become highly invested. Westworld proved that a series lacking traditional character development (many of the characters had their personalities reformatted from episode to episode) could thrive as long as the show’s mysteries resonated with the audience. Much like another Abrams classic, Lost, a huge part of the show’s appeal was in decoding its layers of mysteries. While little has been revealed about Glare, it will be worth paying attention to whether the show sticks with Westworld’s successful formula or instead aims for a more traditional storytelling approach.
Space is a fantastic playground for sci-fi storytelling but it also makes for prohibitively expensive productions. Traditionally, it has been difficult to tell stories with space travel on a television budget. Shows like Battlestar Galactica would often pepper their seasons with bottle episodes that focused on character over spectacle because they could be produced at a fraction of the cost. After opening up their bank vaults for Game of Thrones and Westworld, is HBO willing to bankroll another ambitious sci-fi story or will Bad Robot have to operate under tighter budget restrictions?
We’ll keep you updated on Glare as development continues.