JJ Abrams is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, having directed several successful shows and movies, including Cloverfield, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Lost. However, he has seen not one, but two planned projects canceled in recent days.
The Star Wars director has projects in the works at most streaming services and major Hollywood studios, but two of the biggest have already lost their sponsors.
First out was My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, a project for Apple TV Plus that would have seen Abrams reunite with Jennifer Garner, with whom he did the action drama Alias earlier in their careers.
according to the deadline (opens in new tab), Apple executives made the decision not to move forward with the drama after Garner dropped out of the lead role. Abrams’ company Bad Robot is now planning to find a new sponsor for the drama, but there’s still no studio or streaming service on the board.
Commissioned in 2018, My Glory Was I Had Such Friends was supposed to be an adaptation of Amy Silverstein’s memoir of the same name. Silverstein’s book chronicles her struggle for life after she discovers that the donor heart she received 26 years earlier is failing and she will need a new one.
In order to receive the new heart, Silverstein is forced to move to California, and upon hearing the news, nine of her friends have made the decision to put their lives on hold and travel with Silverstein to support her as she waits for a blood donor. heart. . Working in shifts, they stayed with Silverstein throughout the entire process.
Garner was supposed to play the title role, with the other roles still to be filled. Deadline’s report states that Bad Robot and Abrams are still hoping to keep the project alive.
And the other?
Abrams’ second project to slip away is a world away from My Glory Was I Had Such Friends in terms of genre. As Variety reports, (opens in new tab) Batman: Caped Crusader, an animated Batman series that Abrams and The Batman director Matt Reeves created at HBO Max, has also been cancelled.
Announced in 2021, the show was supposed to be a sequel to Batman: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992 to 1995. Bruce Timm, who oversaw the original series, teamed up with Abrams and Reeves to launch the new venture. the floor.
Batman: Caped Crusader isn’t the only HBO Max-backed animated project to succeed. Merry Little Batman, The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie, Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical, Did I Do That to The Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story, and The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie were also cancelled.
Analysis: Is JJ Abrams’ power on the slide?
The end of My Glory Was I Had Such Friends and Batman: Caped Crusader can be attributed to very different reasons.
Losing Garner undoubtedly gave Apple execs a break, and with drama heavy already, they decided not to proceed. Garner is currently filming another Apple TV Plus project, The Last Thing He Told Me., an adaptation of Laura Dave’s bestselling novel. Perhaps Apple decided that a Garner-led drama was enough.
The cancellation of Batman: Caped Crusader is a different matter. HBO Max and its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, want to get completely out of family and children’s programming; is wiping that slate clean, and no franchise, not even Batman, can survive.
As for Abrams, a much bigger blow came earlier this year with the demise of Demimonde, which was supposed to be Abrams’ first solo television creation since Alias.
Billed as a sci-fi epic, Demimonde was supposed to be built around Olive Reed, a young woman who was separated from her husband and daughter in a brutal science accident. She is forced to unravel a conspiracy to reunite with her family, now lost in another dark and distant world.
Danielle Deadwyler, Netflix star (opens in new tab)The Harder They Fall and HBO Station’s Dystopian Drama Eleven (opens in new tab) was in place as Reed, but, facing a projected budget of over $200 million, HBO Max dropped out. At the time, reports were optimistic that the show would find a new home, but we haven’t heard anything so far.
Even without these two projects and Demimonde, Abrams is still quite busy and has two other projects in the works with Apple.
He has a new take on Speed Racer with Apple (opens in new tab) and Presumably Innocent with David E. Kelley of Big Little Lies. Abrams is also signed to deliver a biopic of rockers U2 to Netflix and is developing three new shows for HBO Max: two new DC series (opens in new tab)Justice League Dark and Duster, and a new take on John Constantine.
All of these two cancellations prove that Abrams isn’t immune to shifts in priorities and HBO Max’s move away from animation – we’ll still see many of his shows cross-platform for years to come.