Several major Hollywood studios are reportedly courting filmmaker J.J. Abrams who is aiming to land one of the biggest mega-deals in Hollywood history with a major media company reports Variety.
Recently some of the most prolific TV creators currently on the small screen have been able to score major deals, including Ryan Murphy who closed a $300 million deal at Netflix and Greg Berlanti who re-signed with Warner Bros. Television for $400 million.
Now the trade says producer, writer, and director Abrams has ambitious plans for a “super nova-sized deal” to encompass everything from films and TV series to digital content, music, games, consumer products, and theme park opportunities. The deal would also have to include a set number of ‘put pictures’ (guaranteed slots on a studio’s slate).
Abrams is also said to be eager to set a new high-water mark for the value of the deal, meaning a half-billion dollar deal (if not more) isn’t out of the question. Abrams’ business is currently split between Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Television, but his team is seeking to consolidate under one company.
The studios are also reportedly interested with Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and Disney studio chairman Alan Horn; Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell and Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley; and Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara all making plays. It’s also possible a digital player like Netflix or Apple could do the deal, though realistically it’s said to be coming down to a duel between Disney and Comcast/Universal.
The news has raised eyebrows. Unlike a Spielberg or Cameron, Abrams hasn’t created a major film franchise – rather he’s been known for being quite adept at refreshing or retooling existing fare like “Star Trek” and “Star Wars,” or creatively getting a problematic franchise into its best shape ala “Mission: Impossible”. His TV efforts have been more successful with original works like “Alias” and “Lost” and adaptations like “Westworld” and “Castle Rock”.
Abrams’ current television deal with Warner Bros. TV expires May 2019 and his film deal with Paramount expires March 2020.