Director Christopher Nolan is really angry with Warner Media over its recently revealed HBO Max streaming plans. He had some harsh words for the studio who announced that each of its 2021 films will be released in theatres and on HBO Max concurrently.
The revolutionary decision is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It also allows the studio to maximize their movies as revenue events on its streaming service, while still helping theatres that have opted to remain open. Apparently, the move blindsided many in the movie business including producers, directors, co-financiers, talent and their representatives.
“Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.”
“Warner Bros. had an incredible machine for getting a filmmaker’s work out everywhere, both in theatres and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they’re losing. Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.”
And in an interview for the DVD release of Tenet with ET Online, the director expressed his shock over how Warner Bros didn’t give top-tier talent and filmmakers any warning prior to the announcement.
“There’s such controversy around it, because they didn’t tell anyone. In 2021, they’ve got some of the top filmmakers in the world. They’ve got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences. They’re meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences.”
“And now they’re being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service, for the fledgling streaming service, without any consultation. So, there’s a lot of controversy. It’s very, very, very, very messy. A real bait-and-switch. Yeah, it’s sort of not how you treat filmmakers and stars and people who, these guys have given a lot for these projects. They deserved to be consulted and spoken to about what was going to happen to their work.”
In spite of health and safety restrictions due to the global pandemic, Warner Bros rushed to release Tenet in theatres. As a result, the film only managed lacklustre global earnings of 360 million dollars, which is 32% less than Christopher Nolan’s previous WWII feature Dunkirk.
Additionally, some industry sources have theorised that if the studio didn’t rush to reopen theatres for Tenet, the HBO Max deal would have never happened. Warner Media had no comment in response to Christopher Nolan’s remarks.
Does Christopher Noland have good reason to be angry about HBO Max streaming plans or is he overreacting?
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