Unfortunately, some mystery boxes will never be closed.
J.J. Abrams’ Demimonde is no more. Not that it ever was. But now, it can never be. HBO has killed the project they won in a bidding war with Apple in 2018. The series was to be Abrams’ first original TV creation since 2008. However, HBO didn’t want to pay more than $200 million on a show with a French title—at least not properties that don’t include the words “Joker” and “Two.” The Hollywood Reporter puts it in perspective: Even House Of The Dragon, the new Game Of Thrones prequel, cost less than $200 million, and that can disappoint fans just as well as Abrams can.
This is the second show to get a pass from HBO since Abrams and Bad Robot entered a multi-million dollar overall deal in 2019. HBO already declined to make a reservation at Overlook, a Shining prequel that would have seemingly built out a Shining-verse that any studio could parlay into a vertical-crossing, paradigm-shifting, network-synergizing behemoth. Now set up at Netflix, Overlook has no release date or cast.
Demimonde was to star Danielle Deadwyler from Station Eleven and Watchmen. Producers are currently shopping the show to other streamers, including Apple, which reportedly pursued a $500 million exclusivity deal with Abrams and Bad Robot that the director turned down. Apparently, he’s still on good terms; Abrams is working on a Wachowski-less Speed Racer TV series, a Presumed Innocent series, and a Jennifer Garner show called My Glory Was I Had Such Friends. He’s also doing a scripted U2 series at Netflix, which he can keep, and another season of Westworld. So there’s no shortage of Abrams, even if we’ll never see whatever Demimonde was.