the streaming wars

Christopher Nolan Shocked Warner Bros. Sending Their Films to ‘Worst Streaming Service’ HBO Max

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Over the last 18 years, Christopher Nolan has made nine motion pictures in conjunction with Warner Bros., dating back to 2002’s Insomnia. When it comes to his thoughts about the studio’s recently announced decision to release their 2021 movie slate in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously, well, the Tenet director wishes someone would have at least mentioned it to him first. If they had, maybe Christopher Nolan could have suggested Warner Bros. partner with something other than “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,” the director told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Monday. “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.”

In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Nolan laments the “very, very, very, very messy” way the studio handled informing (or, in this case, not informing) their frequent collaborators about the decision. “Oh, I mean, disbelief. Especially the way in which they did. There’s such controversy around it, because they didn’t tell anyone,” the director told ET about his reaction to the news. “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.”

“So there’s a lot of controversy,” Nolan said. “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.”

Christopher Nolan in ‘Disbelief’ Over WB’s HBO Max Deal