Christopher Nolan hits out at Warner Bros for putting 2021 slate on HBO Max: “It’s very, very messy”

Nolan described HBO Max as the “worst streaming service”

Christopher Nolan has slammed Warner Bros after they announced that they will release their entire slate of 2021 movies simultaneously in cinemas and on HBO Max.

The move, which is thought to be US only, was made last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s severe impact on the stability of the traditional theatre-first release model.

In a new interview with ET, the Tenet writer and director called the move “very, very, very, very messy”, aiming his criticism at the apparent suddenness of the announcement.

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“There’s such controversy around it because they didn’t tell anyone,” he 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.”

Nolan added: “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 fledgeling streaming service – without any consultation. So, there’s a lot of controversy. It’s very, very, very, very messy. A real bait and switch.”

A separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter saw Nolan going even further with his criticism – calling HBO Max the “worst streaming service”.

“Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service,” said Nolan.

Timothée Chalamet Dune Rebecca Ferguson
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in ‘Dune’ (Credit: Warner Bros)

He added: “Warner Bros had an incredible machine for getting a filmmaker’s work out everywhere, both in theatres and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they’re losing.

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“Their decision makes no economic sense and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.”

Nolan’s Tenet was one of the only films to be released in theatres this summer, despite the  coronavirus pandemic.

The movies Warner Bros. is planning to release in 2021 include: DuneThe Matrix 4The Suicide Squad, The Little ThingsJudas And The Black MessiahTom & JerryGodzilla Vs. KongMortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me DeadThe Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do ItIn The HeightsSpace Jam: A New LegacyReminiscenceMalignantThe Many Saints Of NewarkKing Richard, and Cry Macho.

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