While most directors would certainly love to see their films on the big-screen, few advocate for the cinematic experience more than Christopher Nolan (Tenet). Naturally, COVID-19 has largely brought that experience to a halt, and studios have had to adjust to the current circumstances. Most recently, Warner Bros. announced that they would be releasing their entire 2021 theatrical slate simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, and I'm sure you can imagine what Christopher Nolan thinks of that.
While speaking with ET Online, Christopher Nolan commented on his reaction to Warner Bros.' recent decision.
Oh, I mean, disbelief. Especially the way in which they did. There's such controversy around it, because they didn't tell anyone. 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. 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.
In a further statement to THR, Nolan continued: "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 said. "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." As Christopher Nolan has largely called Warner Bros. his home for the past twenty years, those are certainly some harsh words.
As far as what the future will bring based on Warner Bros.' choice, Christopher Nolan told ET Online that he believes that "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." Nolan isn't the only one who isn't pleased with Warner Bros. at the moment, as AMC Theatres have also denounced the plan and Legendary Entertainment is also considering legal action. Christopher Nolan's Tenet will be released on DVD/Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD on December 15th.