Bad Robot, the production company run by Star Wars director J.J. Abrams and his producing partner and wife Katie McGrath, is pushing into animation, and it has hired John Agbaje to lead the charge.
Agabje is joining the company as its first senior vp, animation. Here are the details:
- Agbaje will oversee Bad Robot’s animated film and tv projects. He will report to Hannah Minghella, its head of motion pictures.
- One project he will be working on is Oh, The Places You’ll Go, a feature adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book being produced for Warner Animation Group. The first animation project to be announced at Bad Robot, it is due to be released in 2027.
- Another is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, a 30-minute hand-drawn adaptation of Charlie Mackesy’s book of the same name. The film is being produced with new outfit Nonemore Productions, which was set up by Mackesy and the Oscar-nominated producer Cara Speller, formerly of Passion.
- Agbaje joins Bad Robot from FX, the Disney-owned cable network. He spent four years there developing animated and live-action series, including the animation portion of Cake, an anthology series at sister network FXX.
- Before that, he spent two years working in former Fox chairman Peter Rice’s office. He also did a short stint in business development at Illumination Entertainment.
- “John’s arrival marks an exciting new chapter for Bad Robot,” said Minghella in a statement. “With his taste, passion, and creative vision, we are thrilled to further our animation ambitions and expand the landscape of our storytelling.”
- Agbaje added: “I’ve long admired that Katie, J.J., and Brian [Weinstein] built Bad Robot as an artist-led company with the ability to balance original projects with the most storied IP. Applying the ambition that has expanded Bad Robot into games, music, and publishing to animation is incredibly exciting.”
- Bad Robot currently has an exclusive overall deal with Warnermedia, which is reported to be worth around $250 million. It covers the company’s film, tv, games, and digital content output and lasts until 2024. The deal lets Bad Robot continue to sell to third-party suppliers.