Christopher Nolan makes his position clear on Warner Bros, and its decision to share its entire 2021 theatrical slate with its streaming service.
In the wake of Warner Bros’ decision to release its entire 2021 theatrical slate simultaneously in cinemas and on its streaming platform HBO Max, the fallout continues to rumble.
Director Christopher Nolan, who was doing press rounds yesterday for the disc release of Tenet, has traditionally been a close ally of Warner Bros. After all, the filmmaker-friendly studio fully supported his bold yet financially risky desire to stage an exclusive theatrical release for Tenet as the world emerged from its first lockdown.
However, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan has broken ranks with the studio to slam its plans to forego the traditional exclusivity window.
The director issued a scathing criticism of the studio’s plans, whilst also publicly insulting the quality of the HBO Max platform itself in an unthinkable attack, especially given his 20 year history with the company. Said Nolan, “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 British filmmaker wasn’t finished there, as he questioned the studio’s leadership for making a decision that would ultimately damage the company greatly, saying “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.”
It’s rare to see a filmmaker of Nolan’s stature attack a studio so venomously, especially given the close nature of his working relationship with them. Every one of the filmmaker’s films from 2002’s Insomnia onwards has been made with Warner Bros, but it’s difficult to see how that partnership can continue given this very public attack.
What is sure is that the dissent following the studio’s decision continues to unfold. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.
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