J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot is nearing a deal with WarnerMedia that's estimated to be worth $500 million. Founded by Abrams in 2006, Bad Robot has become one of the premiere homes for quality genre entertainment over the last decade. In addition to the recent Star Trek, Star Wars, and Mission: Impossible movie sequels, the company has produced hit TV series like Lost and Alias in the past, and is currently overseeing popular titles like Westworld for HBO and Castle Rock at Hulu.
The company, which Abrams runs with his wife and co-CEO Katie McGrath, has been in business with Warner Bros. Television and Paramount Pictures since the beginning, and initially signed deals with them through to 2019 and 2020, respectively. Last year, however, Bad Robot announced that it would be leaving Paramount in favor of a new deal with another studio. They've since been courted on the TV side by major players like Netflix, Comcast, and Sony Entertainment, in addition to Amazon and Apple (which is currently working on getting their streaming service up and running). Now, it appears they've settled on a place to hang their hat.
According to THR, Bad Robot is in final negotiations with WarnerMedia for a deal that could be valued as high as $500 million. For the sake of comparison, that's $100 million more than the deal that Arrowverse co-creator Greg Berlanti recently signed with Warner Bros. TV. It's also a major step-up from the deals that prolific showrunners Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes signed with Netflix over the last two years ($300 million and $100 million, respectively).
As noted in THR's writeup, WarnerMedia was keen on keeping a reliable production house like Bad Robot in the fold ahead of the fast-approaching launch of its streaming service. This became all the more important in the wake of Westworld showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan inking a new deal with Amazon last year, before their series' third season arrives in 2020. Abrams, meanwhile, has been keeping busy on the TV side of business by producing the upcoming Lovecraft Country horror anthology and developing the sci-fi series Demimonde - the first TV show he's created since Alias - for HBO. The cable giant itself will reportedly be featured as part of a bundle for WarnerMedia's streaming service later this year, so it shouldn't be all that long before WarnerMedia starts to benefit directly from their impending deal with Bad Robot.
On the movie side, however, it's not clear what the future holds for Bad Robot and Paramount. Abrams' company has a film deal with Paramount through to March 2020, but THR says that steps are already being taken to move Bad Robot's movie deal with the studio over to WarnerMedia. Abrams announced the pair were working on another Cloverfield film last year, but - between Bad Robot's new deal and the lack of updates since then - the project might be in danger of not happening at all now. And while Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 are already moving forward and shouldn't be impacted, this seems like further assurance that Star Trek 4 will never come to pass. Fortunately, between his upcoming series and December's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (which Abrams is currently in post-production on), there's still plenty of guaranteed Bad Robot goodness on the horizon.