JJ Abrams adds another DC Comics-inspired TV series to his board.
The prolific producer joins forces with Angela Robinson to adapt DC’s Madame X as a screenwriting drama series for HBO Max.
Sources say that the project, which is in the early stages of development, will be written and carried out by Robinson (Professor Marston & Wonder Women, The L-word).
Sources say Abrams and his Bad Robot partner / wife Katie McGrath personally recruited Robinson for Warner Bros. TV so she could write and monitor Madame X. Abrams and McGrath – whose Bad Robot is also based on WarnerMedia with a total deal of $ 250 million – after the former, Robinson got to know through Time’s Up. Robinson is in the organization’s global leadership, while McGrath serves as co-secretary on its board.
Paramount TV Studios, where Robinson was previously housed with a long-term overall deal, bid hard to keep Robinson, but eventually bowed when Warners returned with a higher offer driven by Bad Robot’s influence. Robinson’s Warners deal is said to be worth it in the low eight-digit range.
Still, Robinson has an agreement in her Warners agreement that allows her to continue to be involved in Flashdance update, she was developing for Paramount TV Studios and Paramount +.
Madame X (aka Madame Xanadu) first appeared in the DC Comics universe back in 1978 and is part of the Justice League Dark universe. The character is a witch who has helped Suicide Squad and acts as Specter’s spiritual advisor and in DC’s The new 52, assists Dark League and was revealed to be the mother of the villain Doctor Destiny. (See grade below.)
Abrams and Bad Robot are in various stages of development on several series for HBO Max, including a Justice League Dark franchise that is being designed to include multiple spinoffs as part of a larger connected world similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As part of the Justice League Dark plans, Bad Robot is also preparing one Constantine series, with Madame X also likely to be part of the larger franchise. He also joins Matt Reeves for an animated film Batman series for the streamer. (Abrams and Bad Robot are also producing a new Superman movie, which will feature a black lead, for DC and Warners’ movie arm.)
Outside of DC fare, Bad Robot is also ready Duster, The Shining expires Overlook and Subject to change (written by and based on an original idea from Abrams) for HBO Max as well as the long-running one Demimonde (also written by Lost alum) for premium cable network HBO. Elsewhere on the television front, Bad Robot produces exec Apples Lisey’s story (along with author Stephen King), has a UFO documentary series running on Showtime and continues to produce Westworld to HBO. All of the scripted series are produced by Warner Bros. TV, Abrams’ longtime home on small screen. Bad Robot also produced Apple Little Voice (which is not expected to return) and HBO’s price challenge Lovecraft Country.
Bad Robot boss of TV Ben Stephenson has to produce Madame X along with Abrams and Robinson. Bad Robots Rachel Rusch Rich will co-exec produce the potential series. Additional details, including a formal logline, are kept hidden as reps for HBO Max, the producers of Warner Bros. TV and Bad Robot declined to comment.