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J. J. Abrams officially closes Sizable WarnerMedia movie, TV partnership



It is official: J.J. Abrams has solidified its future at WarnerMedia.

Abrams and his wife and Bad Robot co-CEO Katie McGrath have signed a new five-year, comprehensive deal with WarnerMedia. The agreement, which several sources claim has a higher value of $ 250 million than the previously announced $ 500 million estimate, is the first time that Abrams has received both its film and TV Deals under one roof. The new pact, which runs until 2024 and is called "exclusive", includes video games and digital content for the first time. Abrams is expected to produce original feature films for WarnerMedia.

The official announcement came more than three months after The Hollywood Reporter spread the news that WarnerMedia had won the raffle for Abrams and Bad Robot after nearly three months. A yearlong, secrecy-packed trial in which several applicants prosecuted the productive producers.

Whether Abrams will be able to pursue feature film directing jobs for studios other than Warner Bros. Pictures is yet to be clarified, although Abram's sources will emphasize pre-existing commitments for his former Paramount headquarters and already announced deals for Star Wars comply. It is also unclear whether WarnerMedia has acquired a stake in Bad Robot, although it is quite possible, according to several sources.

The deal with Bad Robot holds Abrams in the studio, which he calls home since 2006. With the new agreement, Abrams and the company will continue to create and develop new projects for WarnerMedia and serve other producers on film, TV and digital platforms. The deal will continue to sell Bad Robot to third parties ̵

1; a detail that Abrams considers extremely important.

The month-long process of transferring the Bad Robot feature film deal from Paramount Pictures owned by Viacom began in June and was recently completed, triggering the official announcement of the media giant. "It's bittersweet to leave Paramount Pictures, our longtime home for filmmakers," Abrams said in a statement to THR . "It was an unforgettable journey, and we are incredibly grateful to the studio team – past and present, especially the incomparable Jim Gianopulos and the super talented Liz Raposo – we still have a number of great stories to tell together, and I think so very happy. "

Sources say John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia, has made Bad Robot its top priority. In deciding to stay, Bad Robot rejected more lucrative offers from technology companies and was impressed by Stankey and his ability to deliver such a far-reaching business. During the trial, Bad Robot became a major consumer brand for companies such as Disney, Netflix, and Apple, aiming for a guaranteed number of releases per year with traditional studios.

"WarnerMedia and AT & T are pleased to launch a long-running collaboration with our world-class partners and colleagues JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath.We are very excited about the potential, remarkable and memorable stories and characters on various platforms for an audience Stanley said, "JJ, Katie, and all of Bad Robot bring exceptional vision, exquisite filmmaking, and industry leadership to this company and our business." We're uniquely positioned across all types of content to be creative To provide partners with a variety of platforms where they can realize their artistic goals and ambitions, and ensure that their stories have the best possible opportunity to connect with the right audience. I also want to acknowledge the leadership of Peter Roth, President and Chief Content Officer of the Warner Bros. Television Group, who has known JJ and Katie for many years and has developed opportunities that will become a long-term, mutually beneficial, partnership now will flourish for many years in the future across the entire WarnerMedia and AT & T family.

Abrams and Bad Robot's pact has officially named the productive producers in the same financial vicinity as Greg Berlanti ($ 400 million from Warners), Ryan Murphy ($ 300 million from Netflix), and Shonda Rhimes ($ 100 from Netflix) Millions of Netflix) The biggest difference between the deal with Bad Robot and that of Berlanti and Murphy & # 39; s is the lack of a library backend to buyout, for example, Warners bought Berlanti's backend points in shows Like Arrow and The Flash although sources claim the store had a value of $ 250 million, it could still reach the billion if Abrams would successfully create an original feature film franchise Similar to TV back-end points, the WarnerMedia content agreement contains significant financial incentives for Abrams-created feature films kt have been in the business process.

Abrams and Bad Robot were considered the largest fish in the madly competitive overall business. At least several studios and streamer competed against the tires or made a highly competitive effort to promote Abrams and McGrath for a possible comprehensive pact for the company, including HBO's Westworld and Hulus Castle Rock belong. among others. Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and other media commentators, WarnerMedia, Comcast, and Sony Entertainment, were among those who reportedly hit or tried a deal with Bad Robot. Sources say Abrams and Bad Robot Execs, including the head of television, Ben Stephenson, attended meetings throughout the city as they considered moving their overall deal from Warner Bros. TV, where the company behind Fringe since 2006 is established. As stores like Apple and Sony approached, sources point out that WarnerMedia was at the forefront in the spring when it emerged that Bad Robot was prioritized to be part of a larger TV and movie distribution company – including the upcoming SVOD release. WarnerMedia service, HBO Max.

] WarnerMedia, now led by Stankey, is one of the companies that have made every effort to keep Abrams internal. According to several sources, a big consideration that weighed on Stankey was the desire to keep his esteemed producer in the company. Sources say McGrath – who is also a founding member of Time's Up – unambiguously told Stankey that the continued presence of Kevin Tsujihara, CEO of Warner Bros., was a "value" issue as she and Abrams had the options of their company. Tsujihara resigned on March 18 after The Hollywood Reporter published texts indicating that the executive had embarked on an affair with British actress Charlotte Kirk, and then sought her role in Warner's To support TV shows and movies.

The tender was further complicated by the ongoing war between the Writers Guild of America and the authorities on packaging fees and affiliated studios. Abrams and Bad Robot stopped cooperating with representatives of the CAA in all areas, apart from directing. After CAA ceased prosecuting the case, the process had slowed significantly and plunged into spring and early summer, but sources say Abrams continued to meet with Peter Roth and Stankey, president of the Warner Bros. TV group, to whom he maintained a permanent relationship.

"Katie, Brian [Weinstein] and myself and the rest of our team in Bad Robot are pleased to call WarnerMedia a new home for our company," said Abrams. "John Stankey has a strong vision for the future of WarnerMedia and is committed to storytelling that unites people around the world, and we're excited to be part of this new chapter under his and Ann Sarnoff's thoughtful leadership." I could go on Hours, and probably hours, about the extraordinary Peter Roth and the entire Warner & # 39; s television group we've worked with for over a decade, and I wanted to work with Toby Emmerich and his team as long as I can remember I'm grateful for the opportunity to write, produce and direct for this incredible business and to create films and series with a diverse and extensive collection of inspirational storytellers we can not wait to get started. "

Abrams, who is in progress Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The last episode of the Skywalker saga – was one of the top producers in the TV scene by Warners, as the number of brand showrunners grew larger and larger. Warners, Comcast and Disney are planning streaming services to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Apple. Netflix helped to explode the market for proven hitmakers as Rhimes and later Murphy committed to nine-digit total deals, causing both producers to abandon their respective long-standing homes in ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television. Demand for top authors and producers has further aggravated these already stunning pacts for the top creators between the increase in in-house production of content for the upcoming streaming platforms and the feud between authors and agents. The market for such creators has also grown so much that some showrunners now sign several TV contracts and offer their services exclusively for broadcasting and streaming.

On the TV side, Abrams prepares an HBO drama, Lovecraft Country (with Jordan Peele) and Executive Productions Castle Rock and Westworld as well as the Showrunner Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan. (The latter duo left his longtime home with Warners for a lucrative five-year deal with Amazon Studios for $ 150 million.) Abrams also works on Demimonde of the first series he has written and created since Has. Alias ​​ (who also changed Showrunner recently). The genre drama landed at HBO after a bidding war with several outlets, with the premium cab also producing the hot script They both die at the end of Abrams and The other two break Chris Kelly off , Abrams and Bad Robot also have three shows in Apple's works: the Stephen King adaptation Lisey & # 39; s Story with Julianne Moore; Sara Bareilles Small Voice ; and the Jennifer Garner vehicle My glory was that I had such friends . All three were directly entered into the series by multiple vendors in the competition, and Apple also aggressively played for Bad Robot. In cooperation with Tencent and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the company also launched the video games division Bad Robot Games in 2018.

All of these projects are being produced by Warner Bros. TV, which is said to be worth $ 400 million last year to megaproducer Berlanti for an overalls-extended deal. Berlanti currently holds the TV record for most of the scripted originals currently broadcast (19 in seven stores and more in the works). His deal also includes financial incentives when he reaches an increasing number of shows.

With WarnerMedia expected to release its direct-to-consumer subscription platform in the fourth quarter (beta), it was considered a high priority for Abrams to remain in fold the independent studio. Following the departure of Joy and Nolan to Amazon, the resumption of Bad Robot for the studio, which continues to aggressively seek top talent, has become increasingly important. The studio recently signed up with Mindy Kaling and Ava DuVernay to complete deals. Warners has promoted Susan Rovner and Brett Paul president of the TV studio as they take over the daily control of the unit from longtime Managing Director Roth. Roth, who remains under contract until 2020, will continue to work alongside Warner Bros. 'interim leadership team alongside Toby Emmerich and Kim Williams, while the studio is looking for a leader to replace the repressed Tsujihara. Next, the mega-producer Chuck Lorre (19459004: The Big Bang Theory 19459005: 19459005: Mom 19459005: The Kominsky Method]) becomes a new pact as its full contract with WBTV expires in June 2020.

Bad Robot is re-contracted by Jackoway Austen.

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