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HBO Max Executive Updates on J.J. Abrams Partnership

by John Paul
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A representative from HBO Max gives an update on the status of the company’s collaboration with J.J. Abrams. Despite Warner Bros. Discovery’s many overall partnerships with other filmmakers in recent years, Abrams has proven to be one of the most difficult creators to secure content from. In 2019, the director inked a $250 million, five-year deal with the studio to create new original content for WarnerBros. Pictures, HBO, and HBO Max, among other WarnerMedia subsidiaries. Nearly three years later, few of Abrams’ initiatives have materialized, calling his partnership with W.B. Discovery into question.

According to Sarah Aubrey, the president of originals for the Warner-owned streaming channel HBO Max, it seems Abrams is still good to go. Although Warner Bros. is reportedly dissatisfied with the director for not living up to his half of the bargain, Aubrey gives a different opinion. In a recent interview with Variety, Aubrey provides an update on the status of HBO Max with Abrams. She doesn’t discuss any additional projects from Abrams other than the Dusters. However, she is “quite positive” that they will have strong cooperation and shares the following about his T.V. show Duster:

“We have the T.V. series ‘Duster,’ that’s on the runway with him, and that is going to be — knock wood — up and running very soon. I’m very bullish about that, and it’s one that J.J. has been intimately involved with, and that’s a really fun process to be a part of. People want to grab onto stories, and development comes together and doesn’t come together all the time. That’s a very normal part of our jobs; more often than not, it doesn’t, honestly. So, I think to draw a circle around one or two shows and make an overall judgment is a little inaccurate. I’m very excited about the work that we have at Max with J.J.”

Duster is one of Abrams’ shows that will air on HBO Max without interruption. Still, when his WarnerMedia contract expires in a few years, the owner of Bad Robot Productions will need to prove his worth. Abrams was working on many big projects for HBO Max, including Batman: Caped Crusader, with The Batman director Matt Reeves, attached to helm alongside Bruce Timm. Despite the fact that Batman: The Caped Crusader is currently available for purchase. Still, signs are bad for Abrams and his contract with Warner Bros.

In light of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s recent declaration that the studio must undergo a “cleaning house” in order to become profitable again, they might cut connections with Abrams if he fails to produce material for the studio. It would be understandable if Warner Bros. Discovery decided not to renew Abrams’ overall pact after 2024 if he was unable to bring forth any profitable assets.

What’s The Latest on The Justice League Dark Universe

Considering DC is significant for Warner Bros. Discovery, the company aims to expand upon it in the next years. However, with Peter Safran and James Gunn leading the D.C. Studios, the future of J. J. Abrams’ Justice League Dark universe remains uncertain. As for other Abrams shows, Constantine and Madame X have not been canceled, but they are no longer airing on HBO Max. Instead, they are being sold to other platforms. Also, there has been no news on a Justice League Dark T.V. show.

Moreover, the Zatanna live-action feature that Bad Robot Productions has been attached to since 2021 is still in development. Although Abrams’ Black Superman reboot with Ta-Nehisi Coates is said to be progressing, few specifics are known about the project. As for Abrams’ ideas, including all of his D.C. pitches, hopefully, they will materialize in 2023, even on HBO Max.



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