Why J.J. Abrams reportedly turned down $500 million from Apple

Adam Epstein for Quartz:

Last week, J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, announced a wide-ranging deal with WarnerMedia valued around $250 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That’s quite the payday for the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director, and yet it’s just half of what he reportedly turned down from Apple.

Abrams elected to go with WarnerMedia despite its lower offer. The five-year deal puts all of Bad Robot’s divisions (film, TV, video games, and digital content) under the same roof for the first time. Abrams will direct and produce films and TV series for both theatrical distribution and also the company’s own upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Apple wanted Abrams to make new projects only for Apple and no other third-party distributor. (Such exclusivity would have prevented Abrams from directing the Star Wars movies for Disney, for instance.) The ability to sell content to other companies, which WarnerMedia will allow him, was “of the utmost importance to Abrams,” The Hollywood Reporter noted.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple wanted exclusivity. Abrams wanted freedom. Abrams is betting on himself here and it’s a good bet he’ll make more with the way his Warner deal is constructed than a set figure, even $1 billion, to be only-Apple for several years.


  1. He made a mess of the Star Wars franchise. And (for now) Star Trek looks dead as a movie franchise. For Apple’s sake, I’m glad he turned down the deal. JJ has lost his magic, maybe trying to do too much at the same time…

  2. Maybe he watched Apple’s “See” and then decided to go with Warner. Trimmed beards, a Queen who wears a crown that no-one can see. Then there’s the inability to hear up close (at times) but at a distance. But the thing that really bugs me is that evolution is thrown out the window and how the hell did they survive the first 100 years if they were all blind. Yup J.J. Abrams showed a lot of common sense in settling for a smaller (but still large pot of money). Groan!

    1. Even if I was also blind I could drive a semi through some of the plot holes and illogic in “See.” It won’t be on my watchlist.

      But I doubt verisimilitude to logic was ever meant to be its strong suit, and in a world where a third of the emerging generation is willing to entertain the notion that the flat earthers could be right, along with other equally ridiculous anti-science beliefs, many won’t have any problem with this show….

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.