By: Hellen Zaboulani
Warner Media reached a production deal with iconic director J.J. Abrams, enlisting one of Hollywood’s most esteemed filmmakers to its team. The AT&T-owned mass media and entertainment conglomerate hopes the alliance with will prove a powerful asset in its battle against fierce competition from streaming services companies, Netflix Inc and the Walt Disney Company.
Bad Robot, which is the production company led by Abrams and Katie McGrath, will create original TV shows, movies and games for Werner Media through 2024. In the announcement made on Thursday, CEO of WarnerMedia, John Stankey said: “WarnerMedia and AT&T are delighted to launch a long-term collaboration with our world-class partners and colleagues J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath. We are extremely excited about the potential to deliver remarkable and memorable stories and characters across multiple platforms to audiences around the world. J.J., Katie and all of Bad Robot bring extraordinary vision, exquisite filmmaking, and exemplary industry leadership to this endeavor and our company,” said Stankey. “Across all forms of content, 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.”
As reported by Bloomberg News, financial terms for the deal have not yet been revealed. The Hollywood Reporter estimates that the deal is worth approximately $250 million. The firm industry has become a battleground in search of talent, with Netflix previously enlisting top TV producers Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, in its quest to lure traditional pay-TV customers to switch to its paid streaming services.
Jeffrey Jacob Abrams, 53, is a celebrated film maker best known for his work in the genre of action, drama, and science fiction. Born a Jew from NYC, his renowned film credits include writing or producing recent versions of Star Wars, Star Trek, Armageddon, Regarding Henry , and Forever Young. His next “Star Wars” movie, “The Rise of Skywalker,” is slated to hit theaters on Dec. 20. He has created successful television series including Felicity, Alias , Fringe, and Lost. He was awarded two Emmys for Lost, including ‘Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series’ and ‘Outstanding Drama Series’. The successful relationship between Abrams and Warner began 13-years ago when Bad Robot entered into an exclusive overall deal for television with Warner Bros. Television Group.
“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,” said Abrams, in a statement.