HBO pulls plug on huge $200 million show due to begin filming in Belfast
The show would have been the first JJ Abrams has created since Fringe ended in 2013.
HBO absolutely helped put Northern Ireland on the map in terms of production centres for new projects, thanks in no small part to how much time and money they spent producing Game of Thrones in that part of the world.
However, the streaming giant has pulled the plug on a massive $200 million sci-fi series, created by JJ Abrams, which was set to begin production at the Titanic Studios in Belfast this year.
The plot details for Demimonde are still being kept top secret, but it would reportedly revolve around a woman (to be played by Atlanta and Watchmen star Danielle Deadwyler) who is attempting to be reunited with her family, all of whom have been transported to another world.
This would've marked Abrams' first show that he has created since Fringe came to an end in 2013. He was also set to direct the pilot episode, which would have been his first time back in the director's chair since Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker was released in cinemas in 2019.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO decided not to press forward with the show when the budget began to bloat north of $200 million, which would've made it more expensive than the upcoming Game of Thrones spin-off show, House of the Dragon.
Following the announcement of the cancellation of production, Northern Ireland Screen told The Guardian that it was "very disappointed" that the deal between HBO and Abrams had collapsed:
"The project has been prepping on the ground in Belfast for many months and was slated to film its pilot soon. Northern Ireland Screen is conscious that these late and difficult decisions do happen in the screen industry, particularly with the most expensive projects which carry the greatest expectation."
HBO had originally won the rights to produce the show following a bidding war with Apple and Netflix, so producers are now hopeful they can shop the show to one of those streamers, allowing the production to potentially pick up where it left off.