JJ Abrams megadeal

J.J. Abrams has considerably clout in Hollywood – his name is attached to LostStar WarsStar Trek, and more. But as the old adage goes, you can never have too much of a good thing. Abrams is now being courted by major studios – Disney, Universal and more – in a quest to land a megadeal that would give him Steven Spielberg-like power to do pretty much whatever the hell he wants.

According to Variety, the major movers and shakers in Hollywood all want to get into the J.J. Abrams business. The report states “Abrams’ ambitions are vast and that the prolific producer, writer, and director…is on the hunt for the kind of super nova-sized deal that would encompass films, television series, digital content, music, games, consumer products, and theme park opportunities.” Abrams also wants “a specific number of guaranteed slots on a studio’s slate of movies.”

This would be a major win for Abrams, and would put him side-by-side with Steven Spielberg, who has a similar level of clout. So who’s courting Abrams? Here’s the line-up:

  • Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and Disney studio chairman Alan Horn;
  • Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell and Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley;
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara.

It’s also possible that streaming studios Netflix and Apple might get into the action too. Netflix has already inked huge deals with Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, and Abrams already has a working relationship with Apple – he’s producing a show for their upcoming streaming service. Abrams also has a history Disney, of course, having directed Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens – and of course, he’s currently shooting Star Wars: Episode IX for them.

All that said, Variety claims “the race is down to Disney and Comcast/Universal, and both certainly have the infrastructure to indulge him in his efforts, though Warner Bros. and its parent, WarnerMedia, are still in the mix.”

If I had to guess, Disney is going to win in the end here. They have enough money, and enough power, to give Abrams what he wants. Plus, his working relationship with them on the Star Wars films is already well-established, and they certainly have the market cornered on “theme park opportunities.” Of course, Universal has a good relationship with Spielberg, whom Abrams has worked with several times – so there’s always a chance he could follow in Spielberg’s footsteps and work with them instead. And Universal is no slouch in the theme park department, either. I still think Disney is the safe bet, though. Time will tell.

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