WarnerMedia Reportedly Signs J.J. Abrams for $500m

It looks like we’re nearing the end of an era at Paramount Pictures.

J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company are said to be nearing a deal for a new partnership with WarnerMedia, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sources say the deal, which could include orders to create and develop both film and television projects, could be valued at around half a billion dollars. That would put the deal at one of the most - if not THE most - lucrative production deals in Hollywood history; recent mind boggling contracts have been from Warner Bros. TV and Greg Berlanti, at $400 million, Netflix and Ryan Murphy for $300 million, and Netflix and Shonda Rhimes for $100 million.

Bad Robot was the production company behind all three of the Kelvin Timeline Star Trek films, and Abrams directed Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Technically speaking, Bad Robot still has a contract with Paramount through the spring of 2020, but according to the Hollywood Reporter piece, “Sources say the process of moving Bad Robot’s feature film deal over from Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures has already begun.” They hasten to add, however: “Representatives for WarnerMedia and Bad Robot declined comment.”

What does this mean for Star Trek? Well, possibly nothing, or possibly something. We really don’t know. As TrekMovie.com noted back in January, “It’s possible Bad Robot could work with Paramount even after a new mega-deal is done – as it has done with Disney on two Star Wars films – or the studio can continue with new producers.”

This news comes amid already-swirling rumors about a possible CBS and Viacom merger that could potentially see the Star Trek IP reunited. For now, there are very little concrete details, and a lot of uncertainty about how the film side of Star Trek will boldly go into the future.

Alison Pitt