Apple loses out on securing future J.J. Abrams projects

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Bad Robot
Sadly, Abrams won't play a major role in the immediate future of Apple TV+.
Photo: Joi/Wikimedia Commons

Apple may have a bigger cash pile than just about anyone, but it doesn’t always get what it wants.

According to a new report, Apple is among the companies that lost out to WarnerMedia in a bidding war to secure the future development slate of Bad Robot. This is the well-known production company run by J.J. Abrams and wife and co-CEO Katie McGrath.

The deal struck by Warner is said to be valued in the region of $500 million. It will see Abrams and company create and develop new projects for WarnerMedia. This includes development across movies, TV, and digital platforms. Netflix and Amazon were also in the running as part of the bidding war. Ultimately, Abrams chose to stay at the studio he has been with since 2006.

The massive deal may have been the result of increased pressure based on the rise of streaming services, such as Apple TV+. Trade publication The Hollywood Reporter notes that:

“Warners, Comcast and Disney are planning streaming services in a bid to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Apple, with the latter entering the originals business last year … With WarnerMedia expected to unveil its direct-to-consumer subscription platform in the fourth quarter (in beta), keeping Abrams in the fold was considered a high priority for the independent studio.”

Chasing Abrams

The report doesn’t make clear exactly how close Apple came to securing the services of Bad Robot. Deadline previously suggested that:

“Apple is … an intriguing alternative, as the cash-rich company looks to make Abrams a fulcrum for its own creative content ambitions in Hollywood.”

Apple has previously done business with Abrams. Apple already has two projects with the creator, including a series in the works starring Jennifer Garner. This isn’t the first time Apple has lost out on acquiring a new Abrams project, however. Last February, it lost out to HBO on another offering.

Fortunately for Apple, it’s got no shortage of A-list names working on its Apple TV+ venture. Now we just need to wait and see if they live up to expectations…