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Warner Bros Discovery ‘frustrated’ with Bad Robot’s lack of output

We Got This Covered 8/8/2022 David James
© Provided by We Got This Covered

Warner Bros Discovery’s new corporate direction is continuing to make waves in Hollywood. The practically complete Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt have been permanently shelved, HBO Max’s original dramatic content is set to be greatly curbed, and the DCEU is facing an impending “reset”. The studio’s past business deals are also coming under scrutiny, particularly their $250 million deal with J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot production company in 2019.

This has seen many projects announced but none completed. Now a report in Deadline says Warner Bros Discovery is “frustrated”, with a particular sticking point — Abrams’ now canceled sci-fi show Demimonde. This was in development for four years with a $200 million budget and the studio has nothing to show for its investment. As Deadline reports:

“WBD bosses are understood to believe that the multi-million-dollar megadeal that Abrams signed in 2019 has been mismanaged and there is frustration that the Lost co-creator hasn’t delivered anything significant on either the TV side or film side since signing that pact. Could Demimonde have been that game changer?”

It’s worth examining what Abrams and Bad Robot have promised and what they’ve delivered. Since the deal was signed we’ve seen Demimonde, a Superman movie, the HBO Max multi-show Justice League Dark project, 1970s-set crime series Duster, animated show Batman: The Caped Crusader, a re-imagining of Speed Racer, an adaptation of Hot Wheels, a documentary about U2 for Netflix, a Portal movie, and Cloverfield 2.

We can’t know how much has already been spent developing these shows and movies, though with not a single second of footage having made it to air, spending a quarter of a billion dollars on Bad Robot is being seen as one of Warner Bros’ most questionable financial decisions.

Who can say what the future holds for any of these productions, but if they’re willing to scrap Demimonde everything else has to be on the chopping board.

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