The move would put Abrams’ film business, responsible for hits such as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the three recent “Star Trek” films, under the WarnerMedia umbrella. It is unclear how many years would be covered by the new agreement. A WarnerMedia representative declined to comment.
Abrams has had a close relationship with WarnerMedia entities for quite some time. Abrams’ Bad Robot has been based at Warner Bros. TV for years and has produced several series for the company, including “Westworld,” “Lovecraft Country,” and “Demimonde,” all of which are on the HBO service. Abrams also is developing a series based on “They Both Die at the End” for the platform.
Deadline previously reported that WarnerMedia was competing with Apple to win a deal with Bad Robot. Those two companies also have a productive history; Bad Robot is developing three shows for the tech giant’s upcoming Apple TV+ subscription service. Abrams’ company is creating “Lisey’s Story,” “Little Voices,” and “My Glory Was I Had Such Friends” for the platform, which is expected to debut sometime in the fall. At this time, it is anticipated that Bad Robot’s WarnerMedia contract will allow the company to continue producing content for other networks.
While the Bad Robot shows on Apple TV+ could be a strong selling point for consumers, the same applies to WarnerMedia, which is also preparing to launch its own streaming service. Recent reports suggest that the still-unnamed service, slated for a beta launch in the fall, could launch at a price point of $16-$17 per month. Though that is more expensive than competing services, the WarnerMedia platform may bundle HBO and Cinemax and also include a library of Warner Bros. films and shows to increase consumer appeal.
To that end, Abrams’ WarnerMedia-exclusive content could serve as a selling point for the company’s upcoming platform. Platform-exclusive content is becoming an increasingly important factor in an increasingly crowded streaming market. For example, though few details about Apple TV+ are available, Apple noted that celebrities such as Oprah and Prince Harry will be creating content for the service.