New J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi Series Subject of Apple, HBO Bidding War
With what can be viewed by some as his next step towards total film and television domination, the one-man walking Disney himself J.J. Abrams has apparently written a new science fiction drama television series that is the subject of a bidding war between two media behemoths: Apple and HBO. Though specific details on the project are being kept strictly under wraps, Abrams would also serve as executive producer alongside Bad Robots Productions' Ben Stephenson. Warner Bros. Television will be handling production responsibilities.
Variety reports that the project's focus will be on a world's battle against a monstrous, oppressive force. If the series moves forward, the as-yet-untitled series would be Abrams' first TV writing gig since Fox's Fringe in 2008. As of the time of this writing, Warner Bros., HBO, and Apple all declined to comment.
From a television standpoint, this could be another addition to a television filmography that is impressive with genre and non-genre programming. In addition to co-creating Fringe, he also co-created ABC's Lost as well as The WB's Felicity (starring The Americans' Kerri Russell) and ABC's Jennifer Garner-starrer Alias. As executive producer, he has helped shepard a number series over the years, including: HBO's Westworld; Showtime's Roadies; and the upcoming Stephen King-themed Castle Rock at Hulu.
Abrams is burning candles at both ends when it comes to film, too: writing, producing, and directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens; executive producing Star Wars: The Last Jedi; and readying himself to produce, write, and direct Star Wars: Episode IX. He is also a major creative force on Paramount's new Star Trek film franchise;, and is currently working on a Star Trek film that will be produced alongside writer/director Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight).
In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Abrams discussed what it is about television that makes the medium so unique artistically:
"Part of the joy of television is being a part of something that is an organic, living, breathing, evolving thing. It's an evolution, and you're constantly making decisions based on the results you're getting – it's a whole other form of entertainment [than movies] that way."
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