Paramount Pictures is Peeved About J.J. Abrams Ditching Them Again To Direct Another STAR WARS Movie
J.J. Abrams already ditched Paramount Pictures once to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now he's doing it again to direct Episode IX, and the studio is kinda pissed off.
Paramount Pictures has had a terrible year of movies with films such as Monster Trucks, Rings, Baywatch, Transformers: The Last Knight, and mother! all underperforming at the box office.
The studio's new CEO Jim Gianopulos had one positive thing going for him when he stepped in to lead the studio... J.J. Abrams. Paramount has been the filmmaker's home since 2006 and Gianopulos was hoping that Abrams would get back to work and direct a film for them. Those hopes were dashed when Abrams signed on with Lucasfilm to direct Star Wars: Episode IX. Now the studio is forced to wait until Abrams is free again. The film is going to keep him tied up for at least two years.
Abrams was apparently obligated by contract to direct his next film at Paramount Pictures, but a source says that when the director was enticed by a "once-now-a-twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity," and all parties understood and Gianopulos accommodated the move even though he was not happy about it. According to THR:
The studio chief is said to be irked to see Abrams get poached again — this time despite a specifically negotiated obligation. But fighting Abrams would have meant alienating the filmmaker and taking on major adversaries: Lucasfilm, Disney and possibly even Steven Spielberg, who isn't involved with Star Wars but has a long-term association with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and has taken credit for luring Abrams to helm The Force Awakens in the first place. And then there are Abrams' reps at CAA. With Paramount in need of all the support it can get, Gianopulos had to be realistic.
It seems like they really had no choice. Paramount did end up getting some money in the deal, but it's not revealed how much. I imagine it's not enough to cover a two-year absence. The report goes on to say:
Paramount likely will attempt to renew Abrams' deal; he's valuable enough that two years is not too long to wait for his services. "You might not put him in the pantheon [alongside Spielberg]," says one studio insider, "but he's a writer, producer and director. There aren't too many of those guys." With Star Wars again beckoning, says this person, "You can't be an asshole and say no. You do the right thing, and hopefully people repay that."
Here's the thing, though. The studio shouldn't be putting the success of their company in the hands of a single filmmaker! There are a ton of great filmmakers in the world and many of them are better than Abrams. Paramount's problem is they obviously don't pick good projects to develop! They need to get a good staff of executives and creative talent to develop good quality content that audiences would want to see. Paramount has the means and ability to deliver great content and they can do it without Abrams. They just need to find people to help them develop better marketable movies that will make money.