Christopher Nolan isn't exactly thrilled with his friends at Warner Bros. right about now.
The acclaimed director in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter slammed Warner Bros. for the studio's bombshell decision to release all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max on the same day they arrive in theaters.
"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 Hollywood Reporter.
Nolan has long worked with Warner Bros. going back to 2002 on his movies like the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, making the especially brutal nature of his comments surprising. But Nolan is famously a major proponent of the movie theater experience, and in September, Warner Bros. released his latest film Tenet as the first major tentpole back in U.S. theaters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The film ultimately disappointed at the domestic box office.
Under the Warner Bros. plan, movies like Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune, and The Matrix 4 will still be released in theaters, but they'll also be available to stream on HBO Max the same day. Nolan argued to the Reporter this "makes no economic sense," and he blasted Warner Bros. for "dismantling" their "incredible machine for getting a filmmaker's work out everywhere." The director also told Entertainment Tonight he's in "disbelief" over the plan and criticized Warner Bros. because "they didn't tell anyone" before the announcement.
Nolan is hardly the only one unhappy with the decision. In addition to theaters being outraged, Legendary Entertainment, the production company behind Godzilla vs. Kong and Dune, is reportedly considering suing over it, and the Reporter writes that the "instant response in Hollywood was outrage and a massive girding for battle." Indeed, one talent agent told the Reporter, "Never have this many people been this upset with one entity."