Robert Rodriguez Strikes a First-Look Deal with HBO Max and HBO

Robert Rodriguez, the filmmaker behind the likes of Desperado, Spy Kids, Sin City, Machete, and Alita: Battle Angel, is getting comfortable at HBO Max and HBO with a first-look deal for future series to be developed for either streaming or cable. And it sounds like he might be reaching into the library of intellectual property owned by WarnerMedia.

The recently inked Robert Rodriguez HBO Max deal (which also includes HBO) will last for two years, giving the streaming service and cable channel first grabs at any original shows that the filmmaker will be developing through his Troublemaker Studios banner. Joining Rodriguez will be his son Racer Rodriguez, who will serve as lead development executive under the new deal. They likely needed a new place for TV content since Rodriuez’s El Rey Network closed its doors in December last year.

Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max’s head of original content, said in a statement, “Robert Rodriguez and the team at Troublemaker Studios have created some of the most compelling projects in recent memory, pushing the boundaries of genre storytelling with humor and one-of-a-kind visuals.”

Joey Chavez, executive vice president of original programming, drama, at HBO Max, added in another statement, “Robert’s masterful, high concept productions are a perfect match for our HBO Max audiences. We are excited to jump into this partnership and work on brand-new, provocative stories.”

As for Rodriguez, it sounds like he might already have his eye on certain properties that fall under the WarnerMedia banner. In a statement, the filmmaker said:

“It’s intriguing to be able to tap into the wealth of iconic IP available across the WarnerMedia portfolio and explore new stories to tell. I’m looking forward to a meaningful collaboration with the high caliber creative talent at HBO and HBO Max who have proven they’re willing to take risks, challenge norms and tell inclusive stories while producing a wide breadth of quality content.”

Though no specific titles were mentioned, it wouldn’t be surprising if Rodriguez already had certain titles in his mind that he’d like to adapt for a new original series at HBO Max or HBO. After all, he’s coming off playing in the Star Wars sandbox after directing an episode in the second season of The Mandalorian, and he’s also serving as executive producer and director on the forthcoming spin-off series The Book of Boba Fett.

The Appeal of Robert Rodriguez

Though Robert Rodriguez has certainly written, directed, and produced his fair share of cinematic duds, he’s also one of the most self-sufficient filmmakers out there. Early in his career, Rodriguez established himself as the kind of filmmaker who would wear many hats on for a film’s production. On the Spy Kids franchise, he served as director of photography, edited each movie, composed their scores, and acted as VFX supervisor. Though the results may have received mixed reactions, his ability to tackle each of those departments is impressive.

Because Rodriguez is often involved with every facet of production on his movies, he’s also familiar with the latest technology on a film’s set. Surely part of the appeal of working on The Mandalorian, aside from being able to act like a big kid playing with life-size Star Wars toys, was being able to work with the StageCraft technology referred to as “The Volume.” Rodriguez himself had employed less sophisticated but similar technological efforts with a lot of green screen in movies like Sin City, but this new real-time digital set technology is something else.

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