nolan amazon deal

HBO’s sci-fi western series Westworld is in production on its third season, but will the show extend beyond season 3? That question is still unclear, but if it does, creators/showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy will still be there to steer the ship.

Nolan and Joy have just signed a gargantuan nine-figure deal to develop television for Amazon Prime Video, but a new report says they have signed a deal to continue to serve as writers and executive producers on Westworld “for multiple additional seasons.” Learn more about the new Lisa Joy/Jonathan Nolan Amazon deal below.

Deadline says that the husband and wife creative team of Nolan and Joy signed a five-year deal in the low-to-mid nine-figure range – meaning at least $100 million total, and THR suggests it could be as much as $150 million – to “create and produce original series that will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video worldwide.” This contract puts them in the upper echelon when it comes to TV industry deals, alongside heavy hitters like Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy, Mike Schur, and Greg Berlanti.

This is a huge “get” for Amazon, who has proven willing to spend serious money to obtain an edge in an era in which streaming services are spending boatloads of cash to lure the biggest names in the business to their platforms. The groundwork for this deal was already laid out starting in 2018, when Nolan and Joy struck a deal to develop a show called The Peripheral for Amazon that’s based on a William Gibson novel. (That series has a sci-fi premise with a time travel component to it – you can read all about it here.)

Nolan and Joy released a joint statement talking about their new partnership:

“We are incredibly excited to begin this new adventure with Amazon Studios. Jennifer Salke’s vision for the future of our business is bold and forward-thinking, and she’s assembled a brilliant creative team to execute it. We can’t wait to dive in to make some batshit crazy television together. And we’re thrilled to continue our collaboration with our friends and partners at Warner Bros and HBO on Westworld, The Peripheral and more for seasons to come.”

As for Westworld, I was really hoping HBO would end the series after season 3. Season 2 became bogged down in even more convoluted mysteries and I didn’t think the payoff was worth the journey, and the show’s ratings dropped so much that I wondered if HBO might be interested in cutting its losses after the upcoming third season.

Keep in mind, Deadline’s report doesn’t technically say that Westworld season 4 has been given the green light, but if it eventually is renewed, Nolan and Joy will be there. Either way, the show will undergo a “radical shift” in season 3, and they’ve added Aaron Paul to the cast, so maybe that will be enough to hook me once again and get more people excited about the possibility of more seasons to come.

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