Dune director Denis Villeneuve absolutely blasted HBO Max for "hijacking" Warner Bros. All corners of the Internet have had something to say about WarnerMedia's decision to have same-day releases for their films on HBO Max and in theaters. The Dune filmmaker joins Christopher Nolan and Patty Jenkins in making his opinion on the matter felt. Variety allowed him to write a response and he came out of the gates swinging. Villeneuve argues that Warner is leveraging their entire slate in an attempt to prime the pump and catch up to heavy-hitters like Netflix and Disney+. While a lot of people on social media would agree with that take, there are some that are just glad the entertainment is coming. Despite the fans being excited, it's clear that this decision has hit a nerve with filmmakers and that will need to be addressed at some point.
Villeneuve began, "I learned in the news that Warner Bros. has decided to release "Dune" on HBO Max at the same time as our theatrical release, using prominent images from our movie to promote their streaming service. With this decision, AT&T has hijacked one of the most respectable and important studios in film history."
"There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here. It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth, one that is currently bearing an astronomical debt of more than $150 billion," he continued. "Therefore, even though "Dune" is about cinema and audiences, AT&T is about its own survival on Wall Street. With HBO Max's launch a failure thus far, AT&T decided to sacrifice Warner Bros.' entire 2021 slate in a desperate attempt to grab the audience's attention."
Nolan told The Hollywood Reporter that HBO Max was "the worst streaming service" and also decried the company's decision to indulge the same-day releases.
"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 explained. "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."
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