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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+.


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

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9 weeks 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.
Rating: 68 Votes
9 weeks ago
Given his track record, his company really ought to be called Bad Reboot.
Rating: 47 Votes
9 weeks ago
In other news, guy with experience in the industry makes smart decision.

On another note, this article is missing lens flare.
Rating: 46 Votes
9 weeks 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.
Rating: 44 Votes
9 weeks ago
Well done, Abrams.
Rating: 34 Votes
9 weeks ago
Good move. Bad Robot should have the freedom to produce bad content for a variety of platforms.
Rating: 22 Votes
9 weeks ago
Makes sense. Why restrict your life work to a shrinking marketshare.
Rating: 17 Votes
9 weeks ago

I think this was a poor move by Abrams.

It was smart, he knows Apple TV plus is limited to iOS users only
Rating: 13 Votes
9 weeks ago

I was thinking the same thing. the style seems to fit. But, I can see why Abrams didn't want to do it that way too.


Seem to fit how? Apple has zero experience in producing entertainment. They are trying to skip the line into becoming the new netflix by throwing obscene amounts of money at respected producers. Clearly he turned it down, hes got integrity most likely good business advisors. It would be like Spielberg selling his soul to ***** Google.
Rating: 12 Votes
9 weeks ago
Yeah.. I turn down $500M all the time too.
Rating: 11 Votes

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