HBO Max has ordered three shows from star director and producer J.J. Abrams. These are the first productions ordered by AT&T (NYSE:T) subsidiary WarnerMedia's video-streaming platform under a multiyear deal signed last fall, worth at least $250 million and as much as $500 million if Abrams' content meets certain performance goals.
What's Abrams bringing to HBO Max?
J.J. Abrams is known for his extensive work in science fiction and action movies, including hits like Mission: Impossible III, two of the recent Star Wars sequels, and two feature-length films in the Star Trek saga. He also built up his CV in the television industry by writing, producing, and directing dozens of episodes of popular series such as Lost, The Office, and Alias.
Abrams' Bad Robot studio got the go-ahead to produce three very different shows for HBO Max, giving the soon-to-launch platform an infusion of exclusive, premium-quality content. Duster is an original crime series set in the Southwest of the 1970s, an idea co-written by Abrams and longtime Walking Dead scribe LaToya Morgan. Overlook is a horror spinoff from Stephen King's The Shining, focused on the eponymous haunted hotel. Finally, Abrams will produce an as-yet-untitled series based on the DC Comics universe known as Justice League Dark.
The press release left it unsaid exactly when these shows are expected to be available to HBO Max subscribers, let alone when their production can start amid the coronavirus pandemic restrictions on public gatherings such as high-budget content production. But Warner's massive content deal is now in action, and only time will tell how this $250 million to $500 million contract works out for AT&T and HBO Max.
Abrams' star-studded track record points to good returns on that investment.