The coronavirus crisis has prompted movie studios to implement new strategies to release their films. Disney is using its Disney + streaming platform to make its projects available to the public through different mechanisms. Warner Bros. , for its part, has decided to release its most anticipated titles of 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max the same day. Some of the directors who work with the company have not liked this strategy. This is the case of Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan . The former will experience this hybrid planning with his film Dune , the film adaptation of the novel by Frank Herbert starring Timothée Chalamet . Nolan, however, did not suffer this mechanic with Tenet , the first ‘blockbuster’ released in theaters during the coronavirus crisis.
The relationship between Nolan and Warner Bros. goes back a long way. His trilogy of The Dark Knight , The Final Trick , Origin , Interstellar , Dunkirk and Tenet have all had the studio’s hallmark. However, it seems that that is about to change with the director’s next project. As The Wall Street Journal reports , it is “unlikely” that Nolan will make his new movie with Warner Bros.
This is how the aforementioned medium relates: “After spending years as one of Warner Bros. ‘most important directors, Christopher Nolan, who wrote and directed Tenet , is unlikely to return to the studio with his next project. In part, because he’s disappointed in the studio’s hybrid distribution strategy for 2021 , according to people close to the matter.
Nolan did not hesitate to express his dissatisfaction with Warner Bros’ decision describing HBO Max as “the worst streaming service.” “Some of the great directors in the industry and the biggest stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the best movie studio and woke up to find that they were working for the worst streaming service,” explained the director in a statement published by THR . “ Warner Bros. had incredible machinery for a filmmaker’s work to come out everywhere, both in theaters and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they are missing. His decision does not make economic sense and even the most casual investor on Wall Street can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction. ”
On the other hand, Nolan also defended Tenet’s box office results . The film grossed a total of 363 million dollars worldwide, a figure that is not entirely pessimistic considering the current situation in cinemas, highly affected by the coronavirus crisis. “I’m concerned that studios are drawing the wrong conclusions from our release instead of seeing where the movie has performed well and how that can bring them a needed income. They are looking at where it has not done with pre-COVID expectations and will use that as an excuse to make the exhibition take all the losses from the pandemic instead of getting in the game and adapting or rebuilding our business, “explained the director.
The coronavirus crisis is still present and affecting the film industry. Hopefully, however, when Nolan shows the public his next film, the situation caused by COVID-19 will have improved and theaters can continue to host premieres as before the pandemic.