Christopher Nolan has weighed in on Warner Bros’ recent announcement that they would release their entire slate of 2021 projects simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max.
Speaking to ET, the writer and director called the move “very, very, very, very messy”, admonishing not the decision itself but its sudden rollout.
“There’s such controversy around it because they didn’t tell anyone," he said. “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.”
The Inception filmmaker added: “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 fledgeling streaming service – without any consultation. So, there’s a lot of controversy. It’s very, very, very, very messy. A real bait and switch.”
In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan doubled down on his comments and called HBO Max the “worst streaming service”.
“Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service," said Nolan.
He added: “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.”
Nolan’s Tenet was one of the only films to be released in re-opened theatres this summer, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Reflecting on his feelings surrounding the release now, Nolan said it was impressive to see audiences turn out to watch Tenet in “places where the virus had been managed carefully and efficiently”.
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Major Warner titles set to be released in US theaters and HBO Max in 2021 include Dune, The Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs. Kong, a Space Jam sequel, and others.
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