J.J. Abrams’ ‘Demimonde’ Sci-Fi Drama Series Not Moving Forward at HBO

J.J. Abrams’ science fiction drama series “Demimonde” will no longer move forward at HBO.

This is the end of a long road for the project, which was ordered to series at HBO in Feb. 2018 after a bidding war with Apple. The series order came over a year before Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath first set a major overall deal for their production company Bad Robot at WarnerMedia.

Rumored to have an impressively high budget, “Demimonde” looked to be a major project until recently. In 2020, “The Handmaid’s Tale” executive producer Kira Snyder and “Life” executive producers Rand Ravich and Far Shariat were set as showrunners, and casting announcements were underway as recently as April 2022, when Danielle Deadwyler was learned to be leading the series.

But progress took a turn in May, when the status of “Demimonde” reportedly came into jeopardy as Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav began to scrutinize Bad Robot’s overall deal. Zaslav’s assessment of “Demimonde” and the production company is part of a larger trend as Warner Bros. Discovery shapes its vision post-merger. “Wonder Twins,” an HBO Max film based on characters from the DC Extended Universe and starring KJ Apa and Isabel May, was another high-profile project recently scrapped from the company’s slate.

“Demimonde” was set to be written and directed by Abrams — and would have been his first writing credit since “Fringe,” the Fox series he created in 2008. Executive producers included Abrams and Ben Stephenson through Bad Robot as well as Snyder, Ravich, and Shariat. Rachel Rusch Rich was co-executive producing for Bad Robot.