J.J. Abrams Declined Apple's $500 Million Offer Because it Would Have Restricted Bad Robot Productions to Apple TV+

A new article by The Hollywood Reporter today sheds light on why director/producer J.J. Abrams declined a big deal with Apple, which would have seen his Bad Robot production company become one of the main creators for exclusive content on Apple TV+.

jjabrams
According to sources, Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath wanted to be able to sell Bad Robot's content to other outlets. Of course, Apple wanted the company to exclusively produce shows and movies that would only be made available on ‌Apple TV+‌ and nowhere else. Ultimately, Abrams decided to stick with WarnerMedia, which offered far less than Apple.

Sources familiar with the deal say it is less about money and more about the larger opportunities that come with an established media giant like WarnerMedia. Abrams is said to have wanted a set number of guaranteed slots on Warner Bros.' feature film release calendar, though it's unclear if that was included in the new agreement. With Warners, Abrams has the ability to create new features that could see his new deal reach the billions if he's able to create a successful franchise.

Now that Bad Robot remains under WarnerMedia, the company is able to create shows like "Lisey's Story" and sell it out to other brands, including Apple. Abrams hopes to turn Bad Robot into a "consumer brand" in this way and get its content in front of as many people as possible, which would have been more difficult if it were locked behind the ‌Apple TV+‌ exclusivity barrier.

Apple's exclusivity deal (valued in the $500 million range), also would have restricted Abrams' ability to work on outside projects under the Bad Robot umbrella for other studios, like his work on Star Trek for Paramount. Additionally, Bad Robot was concerned about Apple's lack of a clear theatrical distribution model, which the company as of yet has not needed to dabble in.

There are a multitude of other reasons that appear to have ultimately convinced Abrams to remain at WarnerMedia. These include Apple's lack of IP for him to adapt, his alleged disappointment in Apple's March media event where it introduced ‌Apple TV+‌, and a disagreement on the exact valuation of Bad Robot.

J.J. Abrams is still producing many shows on Apple TV+, including "Little Voice," "My Glory Was I Had Such Friends," and the adaptation of the Stephen King novel "Lisey's Story."

Top Rated Comments

lamerica80 Avatar
25 months ago
I think this was a poor move by Abrams.
Why? Financially, perhaps, but i'm sure he has enough money for a few lifetimes. He wants his content to be accessible to as many people as possible, not just those with an apple TV. Thats a good thing.
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swester Avatar
25 months ago
Given his track record, his company really ought to be called Bad Reboot.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dave-Z Avatar
25 months ago
In other news, guy with experience in the industry makes smart decision.

On another note, this article is missing lens flare.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gplusplus Avatar
25 months ago
I think this was a poor move by Abrams.
I think it’s a poor move by Apple. By continuing to be greedy and relentlessly pushing for exclusivity, Apple missed out.

A little bit of something is much better than a whole lot of nothing.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vjosullivan Avatar
25 months ago
Well done, Abrams.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Squirrelxb Avatar
25 months ago
Good move. Bad Robot should have the freedom to produce bad content for a variety of platforms.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
iPad Pro Feature Magenta

Mac Otakara: iPad Air 5 to Feature iPad Pro-Like Design, No Design Changes Coming to iPad Mini 6 or iPad 9

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
The next-generation iPad Air will feature a design that's similar to the third-generation iPad Pro, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing a Chinese supplier, the site says that the fifth-generation iPad Air will continue to feature a 10.9-inch display and a Touch ID button on the side, but it will gain a dual-lens camera system with Wide and Ultra Wide cameras. A LiDAR Scanner is ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...