Hollywood and TV networks are negotiating with one another to buy some of the movie properties owned by the studios, in an effort to expand the market for original programming.
While the agreement could create an unprecedented amount of value for content creators, it could also cause more disruption for content distributors.
The studios could then use that additional money to launch or expand a separate content venture, said the people, who weren’t authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly and requested anonymity because the talks are private.
The talks are underway, and it’s not clear when the deal could be finalized, the people said.
They said that as of Friday, the talks had not reached a deal.
In an interview, Mr. O’Brien said the studios have been discussing possible acquisitions with TV networks for about three years, but it’s only recently that they’ve been able to make the investments.
“I think we’re going to be in a position to get a deal done, I’m confident of that,” he said.
The studio has made clear that it wants to expand its content portfolio, including television shows like “American Dad” and “The Simpsons.”
The people said they expect the agreement to be finalized before the end of the year.
A deal would represent an unprecedented investment for the studios.
The networks have spent more than $200 million on film and TV over the past two decades, and the companies have been in a race to acquire more of the film and television offerings.
Last year, for example, the studios paid $10 million for a small minority stake in “The Sopranos.”
The studios have also been trying to purchase other film properties, but those deals have failed.
In recent years, the companies made a series of big acquisitions, including Disney-owned Lucasfilm, DreamWorks Animation and Warner Bros. Television.
The companies also tried to buy the film rights to HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which they’ve now abandoned.
A large chunk of the money being talked about is believed to be tied to “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the next installment of the franchise.
That movie will be released in 2019, with Mr. Tobey penning the script.
But it’s unclear if Mr. Osborn will direct or be attached to the project.
Mr. Warner Bros., meanwhile, has a contract to develop and produce a second “Superman” movie.
Mr. O-Brien, a former chief of Disney, said in an interview that the studios would try to strike deals for a new “Iron Man” movie, as well as a “X-Men” spinoff, “Age of Apocalypse,” and a “Ghostbusters” spin-off.
The studios, he said, are also looking to buy content from the BBC and Hulu.
They have made that clear, he added, and there are already talks about acquiring more of those services.
But it remains to be seen if the studios are going to follow through with those plans.
The last time the studios bought a property, in the mid-1990s, the entertainment industry suffered from a bubble.
As more studios took on more and more content, movie and TV revenues started to decline, and in the process, they left some content behind.
The result is that a significant portion of the films and TV content in the industry is now on the verge of disappearing, according to a recent report by the Entertainment Software Association.
Mr O-Brien declined to provide details on any of the deals.
He said that he has not yet made any final decisions on the studios’ plans, and that the talks have been going on for about a year.