Apple has lost out to HBO for the rights to J.J. Abrams’ upcoming series, Demimonde. The Cupertino giant had been locked in a protracted bidding war over Abrams’ first TV writing project since 2008’s Fringe.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens director and Lost co-creator eventually opted to reunite with HBO due to his positive experience as executive producer on Westworld, which aires on the premium network.
The straight-to-series order means Abrams can now get to work on what is being described as an “epic and intimate” sci-fi fantasy drama. Early script reports suggest the story will focus on a family in the aftermath of a vicious car crash. With the mother stuck in a coma, her daughter begins looking through her scientific research and gets transported to a new, dangerous world.
Little else is known about the show and a total episode count has not yet been decided. Industry observers have noted that Demimonde is likely to form part of HBO’s slate following the conclusion of its smash-hit fantasy series, Game of Thrones, in 2019.
As well as this new series and his continued production on Westworld, Abrams’ TV slate also includes an adaptation of Stephen King’s Castle Rock for Hulu. On the big screen, meanwhile, Abrams is preparing to take up directorial duties for Star Wars: Episode IX, the final chapter of the rebooted blockbuster trilogy.
While a HBO-Abrams reunion was perhaps inevitable, Apple’s failure to snag the series is unlikely to deter its push into TV programming.
The iPhone maker already has deals in place with La La Land director Damien Chazelle and Battlestar Galactica writer Ronald D. Moore, and is expected to branch out even further backed by a billion-dollar war chest solely for furthering original content production in 2018.