Big Hollywood Name Unloads on Warner Bros. Strategy

Director Christopher Nolan blasts idea to stream movies immediately on HBO Max
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2020 2:05 PM CST
Big Hollywood Name Unloads on Warner Bros. Strategy
In this May 12, 2018, file photo, director Christopher Nolan poses during a photo call at the 71st international film festival in Cannes, southern France.   (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Warner Bros. stunned the film industry last week with the announcement that it would stream its 2021 movies on HBO Max at the same time they are released to theaters. Now, one of Hollywood's biggest directors is joining the criticism. Christopher Nolan, behind films such as Dunkirk, Inception, and the more recent Tenet, tells the Hollywood Reporter the strategy makes no sense. "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," says Nolan, who has been making films with Warner Bros. for nearly 20 years. "Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction."

In a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight, Nolan says he is in "disbelief" over the move, in part because the studio didn't inform anyone. "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," he says. "Now they're being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service—for the fledgling streaming service—without any consultation." NBC News notes that Nolan has long been a strong advocate of seeing movies in physical theaters, citing a 2014 op-ed he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. (Read more Christopher Nolan stories.)

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