If you’re not paying attention to the turmoil in Hollywood over Warner Bros.’ decision to put all its 2021 films on HBO Max and in theaters at the same time, you might have missed a veiled swipe that Timothee Chalamet made at the end of “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.
During the customary end-of-show farewell, Chalamet implored viewers to “treat others with kindness,” giving credit to fellow recent “SNL” host Harry Styles for saying it first. But some on Twitter pointed out that the actor was wearing a hoodie featuring the logo of Legendary, the studio that produced two major blockbusters that Warner is including in the HBO Max move: “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Dune,” the latter of which stars Chalamet as galactic hero Paul Atreides. Both films were set to release in 2020 but were moved to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The can catch the segment below.
timothée being nervous at the end, wearing that legendary hoodie, remembering to treat people with kindness…and with those hands hidden in his sleeves is all the world need to be a batter place …tonight ?
— musetta – timothée chalamet daily (@Musetta_May) December 13, 2020
Earlier this week, insiders told TheWrap that the unexpected HBO Max move has angered executives at Legendary, which provided most of the $150 million-plus budgets for the two films under the belief that the films would be released for theaters, though Warner Bros. insiders have said that the studio has cashflowed the entire production budget on “Godzilla vs. Kong.” While Warner Bros. is hoping the 17 films moving to day-and-date release will increase HBO Max’s struggling subscriber numbers, Legendary and other production partners on those films are now looking for answers on how this change will affect the back-end deals that paid the studios based on box office performance.
While Legendary is weighing its options — including possible legal action — “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve spoke out against the HBO Max move in an op-ed for Variety, saying that Warner parent company AT&T has “hijacked one of the most respectable and important studios in film history.”
“I understood and supported the decision to delay ‘Dune’s’ opening by almost a year. The plan was that ‘Dune’ would open in theaters in October 2021, when vaccinations will be advanced and, hopefully, the virus behind us,” Villeneuve wrote. “Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of ‘Dune’s’ scope and scale. Warner Bros.’ decision means ‘Dune’ won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph. Warner Bros. might just have killed the ‘Dune’ franchise.”