Presumably figuring that, if you’re going to have a full-on robot apocalypse, you might as well have some experts on-hand to make sure all your various murder drones and self-driving death cars are operating at peak efficiency, Amazon closed a deal this week to bring Westworld creators Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy into its all-consuming fold. The married showrunners have reportedly signed on for a five-year overall stint at the shipping and media mega-giant, a term of servitude for which they’ll apparently be receiving something on the order of $30 million a year, making this yet another in a long string of efforts by streaming services to usurp big-name creators from their original TV production homes.
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan and Joy’s deal with Amazon differs from similar 9-digit streaming TV deals—including those recently signed between Netflix and Ryan Murphy, Kenya Barris, and Shonda Rhimes—in one significant regard: The duo will stay on as showrunners for the mystery-heavy HBO series for the duration of its run, rather than leaving it in the hands of a new creative team. (Currently Westworld is only renewed through its third season, although given how popular the series has been, a Nolan-and-Joy-fronted fourth season is certainly a possibility.) Production of Westworld will stay at the pair’s old home at Warner Bros. TV, while they’ll be moving over to Amazon Studios, which now has an overall first-look deal on any new projects they develop.
Amazon has made it very clear over the last year or so that it’s still hunting for a big, meaty series of the sort that HBO has profited so mightily from over the last few years—this is the studio owned by Jeff “Bring me a Game Of Thrones” Bezos, after all. The company also has production deals in place with Jordan Peele and Nicole Kidman, plus its massive, extremely expensive plans for a TV series based off The Lord Of The Rings.