Bad Robot Recruits FX Exec to Lead Animation (Exclusive)

John Agbaje
Titi Oshinaya

Bad Robot is pushing further into the animation space.

The production company overseen by J.J. Abrams and his producing partner/wife Katie McGrath has hired John Agbaje to serve as senior vp animation. Agbaje, who comes to WarnerMedia-based Bad Robot from FX, will work across the company's film and TV groups on animated projects including feature Oh, The Places You'll Go and shortform pic The Boy The Mole, The Fox and the Horse.

"John’s arrival marks an exciting new chapter for Bad Robot. With his taste, passion and creative vision, we are thrilled to further our animation ambitions and expand the landscape of our storytelling,” said bad Robot film president Hannah Minghella, to whom Agbaje will report.

Agbaje arrives at Bad Robot from FX, where he spent the past four years developing animated and live-action series for the John Landgraf-led basic cable network. He brings with him experience on the creative side and as a dealmaker. During his time at FX, Agbaje worked on shortform animated showcase Cake and worked on live-action entries like breakout comedy Dave, among others. Before joining FX, Agbaje spent two years working in former Fox chairman Peter Rice's office. Before that, he was a business development exec at Illumination Entertainment.

"My career began with Peter Rice and I'm thankful to have had a true role model as an executive, leader and person during my early days at Fox/Disney. I'll be forever grateful for the time I spent at FX and the skills I learned from Kate [Lambert], Gina [Balian], John and the brilliant development team. Their evolved perspective on storytelling and always putting the artist first will be a guiding light in my work as a producer," Agbaje said. "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. At its best, animation is a direct tap into a creator’s imagination. I’m excited to bring my perspective as an artist and an executive to this visionary company as we take the medium of animation to even more diverse and surprising places. I'm thrilled to be working with Hannah, Ben [Stephenson] and Rachel [Rusch] on this great initiative."

Animation remains increasingly in demand across film and TV as production has not been impacted by the pandemic. Animated features and TV series continue to be successful on streaming platforms as many diehard fans will watch over and over again. Successful animated franchises also become hugely lucrative if they break out. Shows like Family Guy as well as stalwart The Simpsons are multibillion-dollar hits, with the same true for newer fare like Bob's Burgers and Rick and Morty.