At first, it looked like Apple would win.
Then, suddenly, Sony emerged as a favorite.
Today, we have a victor in the 2019 JJ Abrams / Bad Robot sweepstakes. It's AT&T's Warner Media.
Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, had been up for grabs with the contracts expiring for his film deal -- with Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures -- and his television deal at Warner Brothers. After hearing from all comers -- including Netflix, Comcast, and Amazon -- Abrams decided to bring the film and TV development and production under one roof at Warner.
At 53-years-old, and with a resume that includes blockbuster hits on the big and small screen this multi-million dollar deal will not have Abrams slowing down anytime soon. The director, writer, producer is has taken on on both "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" films, as well as the Tom Cruise "Mission Impossible" movies, "Cloverfield," "Super 8," and countless more blockbuster hits has signed a massive deal with WarnerMedia reportedly worth a half-billion dollars according to Variety.
On TV, Abrams and his company have created such hits as “Lost,” “Alias,” and “Westworld.” HIs new deal will see Bad Robot producing a wide range of content, movies, television series, video games and more for WarnerMedia which plans to distribute to audiences on a multitude of platforms available in their portfolio.
The massive deal commences immediately and will last through at least 2024.
While the figures behind the initial deal were not formally announced, an insider values the agreement at about $500 million, a rate that could rise significantly when performance goals are met.
WarnerMedia boss John Stankey has been working on this deal for over a year. “We are extremely excited about the potential to deliver remarkable and memorable stories and characters across multiple platforms to audiences around the world," Stankey said in a statement.
The long-time phone company executive said he believes this deal will only bolster WarnerMedia's prospects, "We are uniquely positioned to offer our creative partners a multitude of platforms to realize their artistic goals and ambitions, and to ensure that their stories have the best possible opportunity to connect with the right audience.”
This seems a safe investment for the media company as Bad Robot’s impressive lineup of 14 movies have grossed approximately $6.1 billion dollars in box offices worldwide since 2001’s release of “Joyride.”
Abrams was equally excited to embark on this next phase of his Hollywood career. “I am grateful for the chance to write, produce and direct work for this incredible company, and to help create films and series with a diverse and vast collection of inspiring storytellers. We can’t wait to get started,” the director said in a statement.
Before Abrams can give his complete attention to WarnerMedia, he will be fulfilling his current obligations with Disney which include the release of his second "Star Wars" film, “The Rise Of Skywalker,” which he is directing and is due out Dec 20, 2019.