Christopher Nolan Slams Warner's Streaming Plan: "They Don't Even Understand What They're Losing"
The filmmaker calls HBO Max "the worst streaming service"
Published Dec 08, 2020Last week, WarnerMedia announced plans to premiere its entire 2021 film schedule on HBO Max alongside theatrical screenings, including titles such as Dune, Matrix 4, Space Jam: A New Legacy and more. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Christopher Nolan is not happy with the company's pandemic problem solving.
Nolan, who fought to give his Tenet a traditional release in theatres earlier this year, shared with Entertainment Tonight that his reaction to the news of WarnerMedia's decision was "disbelief."
"There's such controversy around it, because they didn't tell anyone," Nolan said. "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 added that he felt the decision was "a real bait and switch," calling it "very, very, very, very messy." He offered, "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 filmmaker continued to be critical when speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, also piling on HBO Max.
"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," Nolan told the site in a statement.
He continued: "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."
Nolan is still holding out hope for the theatregoing experience, telling ET, "Long-term, I think all of the studios know that the movie theater experience will bounce back and be a very important part of the ecosystem long-term."
"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. It's not the way to do business and it's not the best thing for the health of our industry. But when the theaters are back and people are going back to the movies, when the vaccine has been rolled out and there's an appropriate health response from the federal government, I'm very bullish on the long-term prospects of the industry. People love going to the movies and they're going to get to go again."
Read Exclaim!'s review of Tenet, which we deemed "pretentious mumbo-jumbo for stoned teens."