J.J. Abrams hasn’t written a show since Fringe, but those waiting for a follow-up may have to wait a bit longer. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Demimonde, his long-in-the-works sci-fi/fantasy/drama, is likely to be put on hold at HBO, in part because it’s super, super expensive.
The show, which Deadline once described as being about “a world’s battle against a monstrous, oppressive force,” was considered a major pick-up when HBO gave it the go all the way back in 2018. Jump four years later, and Warner Bros. Discovery brass are reportedly balking at the budget, which may be as high as $200 million. For contrast, that’s slightly more than the budget for House of Dragons, the itself very expensive Game of Thrones prequel.
Sources also say Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is frustrated with Abrams’ lack of output since signing a five-year contract with his production company, Bad Robot, back in 2019. Three years in, Abrams has yet to finish a project for them, though he has several in the works, including an animated Batman series with his old cohort (and The Batman director) Matt Reeves, as well as the dramas Subject to Change and Duster.
The corporation is also reportedly unhappy that Abrams has yet to complete the DC projects to which he had laid claim, namely a reboot of Constantine and Madame X, though they’ve seen scripts for the former and the pilot for the latter. Still, the Bad Robot deal itself is not in jeopardy. Maybe the problem is Abrams is busy working on projects with other companies, including a Netflix series about U2. Or perhaps Abrams is still licking his wounds over the bad Rise of Skywalker reviews.