J.J. Abrams is without a doubt one of the most influential filmmakers of the last two decades. Recently, he’s best known for his work on Star Trek, Star Wars, and Cloverfield. Even before his days of tentpole blockbusters though, Abrams was making hits. He was a driving force behind both Lost and Alias. And those shows are, in my opinion, two of the most influential series since the turn of the century.
So, when word came down that Apple and WarnerMedia were in a bidding war over Abrams and his company, Bad Robot, no one was too surprised. No, what was surprising were the rumors of exorbitant dollar figures being thrown his way by the two companies. Even more surprising was the actual number attached when an Abrams/WarnerMedia deal was announced on Monday. Not a ton of specifics are known about the financials yet but the deal is expected to land somewhere around $500 million. (In all fairness, this would just be the latest for Warner as the TV side paid $400 million last year to retain Greg Berlanti.)
The last deal Abrams had at Paramount was similar but not nearly as high. If his work while under that deal is anything to go by, this will seem like chump-change in five years. One issue already being brought up though is the work Abrams did without Paramount while under that deal. For example, he directed two Star Wars films for Disney while signed on with Paramount. It’s unclear whether there are more limits on his exclusivity with this deal but, I’d imagine there are at least a few kickers in there somewhere.
But, WarnerMedia may have a much easier time keeping him reigned in than Paramount. Bad Robot has more than a few shows already going strong with WarnerMedia; they’ve got this little show called Westworld, maybe you’ve heard of it. Then, there are the full resources across the Warner Bros. TV and Film divisions now available to him. Oh, and not to mention the new WB streaming service that’s about to start up. Unless there’s a specific franchise he wants to be apart of elsewhere, Warner has more than ample outlets and funding to keep Abrams happy for another two decades, at least.