Christopher Nolan in 'Disbelief' Over Warner Bros.' HBO Max Deal
Christopher Nolan expressed “disbelief” that Warner Bros. will debut its 2021 films on streaming service HBO Max the same day they hit theaters.
“There’s such controversy around it, because they didn’t tell anyone,” the filmmaker told ET Online in an interview published Monday. “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.”
The director has partnered with Warner Bros. for a run of massive projects, including his latest film, Tenet. The sci-fi thriller saw a September U.S. release after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding theater shutdowns.
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As Variety reports, Warner’s 2021 slate includes Mortal Kombat, The Many Saints of Newark, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation and The Matrix 4.
Nolan also expressed frustration with the Warner deal in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, writing, “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,” he continued. “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.”
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