Last week Warner Bros. became the first studio to make a huge move in how it plans to confront 2021 in the wake of Coronavirus. The studio announced that it will day-and-date release all 2021 films in theatres and on HBO Max.
That announcement sent shockwaves through the industry, both positive and negative, with many fans torn as to how to react. Some felt the decision signalled the death of the cinema, whilst others appreciate WB attempting to accommodate those still unable or unwilling to attend cinemas.
Many looked to Christopher Nolan, a staunch supporter of the big screen, for his reaction to the news. Overnight the director broke his silence via both ET Online and The Hollywood Reporter (as reported by CBM).
Speaking with ET Online about his reaction to the news, Nolan stated, “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 continued. “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 THR, Nolan was far more harsh in his criticism. “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 theaters 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.”
How these statements will impact on Nolan’s future working relationship with Warner remains to be seen. The director has been with the studio almost exclusively for much of his high-profile career. Could this move push him to work with another studio in the future?
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