Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are the latest high-profile creators to make the move to a streaming platform.
Variety has learned that Nolan and Joy and their Kilter Films banner have signed a massive overall deal at Amazon, meaning the pair will exit their current deal with Warner Bros. Television. Sources say the new deal is worth $150 million over five years. Amazon declined to comment.
Under the new deal, Nolan and Joy will remain as writers and executive producers on HBO’s “Westworld,” which is produced by Warner Bros. Joy and Nolan created “Westworld,” which was inspired by the classic 1973 film from Michael Crichton. The show has garnered 43 Emmy Award nominations over two seasons. The third season goes into production this spring, with Nolan set to direct the premiere. They will also continue to executive produce multiple projects in active development at Warner Bros.
Nolan and Joy will now create and produce original series for Amazon, with the pair having started developing the sci-fi drama “The Peripheral” at the streamer. The project is inspired by William Gibson’s novel of the same name and is also produced by Warner Bros.
“Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy are two of the most talented and inventive creators in the business,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “They have mastered the art of working in tandem as well as individually on so many fantastic projects across film and television. They each bring their own unique storytelling abilities to the partnership, creating unforgettable characters in addictive and compelling worlds. We are ready to jump right in and can’t wait to deliver their future projects to our Amazon Prime Video audience.”
Joy is directing her debut feature film “Reminiscence,” distributed by Warner Bros. worldwide, starring Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson. Joy wrote the script, which appeared on the Blacklist of Hollywood’s best screenplays. Joy will produce with her Kilter Films partner Nolan, Michael De Luca and Aaron Ryder. The film is co-produced by Warner Bros., Kilter Films, Michael De Luca Productions and FilmNation Entertainment. Joy began her writing career on the celebrated ABC series “Pushing Daisies.” Her television directorial debut was on “Westworld,” in the show’s second season.
Nolan’s additional credits include writing, with his brother Christopher, “Interstellar,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Prestige,” and “Memento,” the last of which was nominated for the Academy Award for best original screenplay. He also created the CBS series “Person of Interest,” which ran for five seasons.
“We are incredibly excited to begin this new adventure with Amazon Studios,” said Nolan and Joy. “Jennifer Salke’s vision for the future of our business is bold and forward-thinking, and she’s assembled a brilliant creative team to execute it. We can’t wait to dive in to make some bats–t crazy television together. And we’re thrilled to continue our collaboration with our friends and partners at Warner Bros and HBO on ‘Westworld,’ ‘The Peripheral’ and more for seasons to come.”
Both Nolan and Joy are repped by WME and Bloom Hergott.
This is just the latest example of content creators inking a nine-figure overall deal as the so-called Streaming Wars are heating up. It has previously been reported that those like Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, and Kenya Barris have all signed astronomical deals at Netflix. This has of course put pressure on the traditional studios to shell out big bucks in order to retain top talent like Mike Schur, who recently re-upped his deal with Universal Television for a reported sum of north of $100 million as well. Meanwhile, Nahnatchka Khan recently left 20th Century Fox Television for a new deal at Universal, while longtime Universal Television mainstay Mindy Kaling recently left the studio for a new deal at Warner Bros. Television.