Filmmaker Christopher Nolan, who has had a relationship with Warner Bros dating back to the early 2000s, has slammed the studio for its recent announcement that its entire 2021 slate would be made available online. WB last week declared, to the industry’s shock, that every film scheduled for release next year would simultaneously debut on the HBO Max streaming app.
The slate includes high-profile films such as Dune, The Suicide Squad and Matrix 4. WB is on the verge of testing a similar strategy with Wonder Woman 1984, which will debut online, and in theatres (where they are safe to open) around the world.
Nolan in an interview to ET was asked how he reacted to the news. “Oh, I mean, disbelief. Especially the way in which they did. 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,” he said.
The director added, “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 a separate statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan accused WB of ‘dismantling’ the work of some of the ‘industry’s biggest filmmakers’ and said that the studio’s decision didn’t make financial sense. He said, “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.”
The report claimed that several filmmakers — particularly James Gunn, Denis Villeneuve and Jon M Chu — were dismayed by the studio’s decision, and that Legendary Pictures (Godzilla vs Kong) is contemplating legal action.
Follow @htshowbiz for more