“Tenet” director Christopher Nolan is in “disbelief” over Warner Bros.’ seismic decision to send its movies to HBO Max at the same time they premiere in theaters.
“Oh, I mean, disbelief. Especially the way in which they did. There’s such controversy around it, because they didn’t tell anyone,” Nolan said in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight.” “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.”
As a consequence, the studio is risking the close relationships with star talent it has built up over decades — including filmmakers like Todd Phillips (“Joker”), Christopher Nolan (“Tenet”), Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Alfonso Cuarón, Clint Eastwood and Steven Soderbergh, to name just some of the A-list directors.
“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. 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,” Nolan added.
The studio is expected to renegotiate deals with producers and talent from films shifted to its new hybrid theatrical/streaming release strategy.
“What you have right now in our business is a lot of the use of the pandemic as an excuse for sort of grappling for short-term advantage. And it’s really unfortunate,” Nolan added. “It’s not the way to do business and it’s not the best thing for the health of our industry.”
Read the full interview with Nolan here.