Christopher Nolan And Denis Villeneuve Disappointed By WB's HBO Max Move As More Blowback Surfaces

It was Tenet's underwhelming box office performance that led to all major film studios cancelling their big 2020 film releases, yet Christopher Nolan is leading the charge against WB's HBO Max move.

Christopher Nolan has empathically voiced his disapproval at WB's decision to release all of its 2021 films on HBO Max at the same time that they hit theaters. 

When asked by ET Online about his reaction to WB's shocking release strategy, Nolan stated, " 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 separate statement to THR, Nolan offered a much harsher take on the decision. "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."

"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."

Elsewhere, Variety has heard from its insider sources that Dune director Denis Villeneuve is similarly disappointed.

The NY Times also has a report on the way that WB's A-list talent is reacting to the decision. Agents and managers for heavyweights like Denzel Washington (The Little Things), Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad), Will Smith (King Richard), Keanu Reeves (The Matrix 4), Hugh Jackman (Reminiscence) and Angelina Jolie (Those Who Wish Me Dead) are said to be fuming that their stars weren't approached in the same manner as Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins. 

Prior to WB's decision to release Wonder Woman 1984 simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, the studio approached Gadot and Jenkins first to gauge their reaction and eventually negotiated with their reps for a $10 million payday to make up for the loss of backend profits. No such consideration was given to anyone else according to The NY Times.

Additionally, the site is reporting that the Directors Guild of America is considering a boycott, while talent agencies spent the weekend talking with their lawyers.

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