AceShowbiz - Christopher Nolan has spoken up against Warner Bros./HBO Max deal. The studio shocked fans and blindsided filmmakers and actors with their major decision to release their entire slate of 2021 movies, including "Dune", "Godzilla vs. Kong" and "The Matrix 4", directly on the streaming service.
While none of Nolan's upcoming projects is included in the Warner Bros./HBO Max deal, the filmmaker couldn't help empathizing with other industry workers. In a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter, the "Interstellar" director slammed the studio for the decision to skip theatrical release altogether and bring their movies to "the worst streaming service."
"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," he said in the statement.
"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," he continued. Believing that it won't benefit anyone, Nolan added, "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 also weighed in on Warner Bros.' decision during an interview with ET Online. Admitting that he's in "disbelief" with the studio's move, he called out the studio for not consulting the filmmakers beforehand.
"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," he explained what became a major letdown in the decision. "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."
Calling it "very, very, very, very messy," he noticed there's "a lot of controversy" to it. He went on describing the situation, "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."
Expressing his faith that theaters will be back on full steam once COVID-19 is under control, he said, "Long-term, I think all of the studios know that the movie theater experience will bounce back and be a very important part of the ecosystem long-term." He went on slamming movie studios for using "the pandemic as an excuse for sort of grappling for short-term advantage."
"And it's really unfortunate," the London-born filmmaker lamented. "It's not the way to do business and it's not the best thing for the health of our industry. But when the theaters are back and people are going back to the movies, when the vaccine has been rolled out and there's an appropriate health response from the federal government, I'm very bullish on the long-term prospects of the industry. People love going to the movies and they're going to get to go again."
Nolan himself had his latest film "Tenet" released in select theaters in August, becoming the first Hollywood tentpole to open in theaters during the pandemic, before heading to digital services on December 15. Warner Bros. is also the studio behind the sci-fi action movie.
Similar to Nolan, James Gunn, whose movie "The Suicide Squad" is among Warner Bros.' 2021 slate, is reportedly unhappy with the decision. Sources told THR that the "platform-agnostic" director was "not pleased when the studio followed its shocking announcement by floating a lackluster formula for compensating him and other profit participants" in upcoming standalone sequel to 2016's "Suicide Squad".