Warner Bros. shocked the entire entertainment industry back in December, when it announced a plan to give its entire 2021 film slate day-and-date streaming releases on HBO Max. Every movie heading to theaters from Warner Bros. this year will debut on the HBO Max streaming service on the same day it debuts on the big screen. The decision was more than frustrating for the filmmakers who have movies being released by Warner Bros. this year, especially since the studio didn't tell anyone ahead of time, for fear of the decision leaking. Plenty of filmmakers who don't currently have projects set up at Warner Bros. are speaking out against the decision as well, including the twist king himself, M. Night Shyamalan.
Ahead of the debut of Servant Season 2 on Apple TV+, Shyamalan spoke with Fandom and shared his thoughts on the big HBO Max deal. Like many other creatives that have talked about the deal, Shyamalan is very opposed to the whole situation, especially considering how little information everyone was given.
"You only have to guess what my reaction is to that," Shyamalan said. "I don't support it at all. At all. And especially without talking to the filmmakers. Ridiculous. [It's] obviously corporate-driven and I feel bad for all my colleagues that found out that way and are dealing with it now. That's not the answer. That's certainly not the answer, and I very much hope we will all be going back to the theaters soonish. Three months, four months, five months, whatever it is. And that both can co-exist; that we have high-end entertainment at home and we have high-end entertainment when we want to go out. There's no need to cannibalise one for the other."
Ultimately, Shyamalan believes both home and theatrical entertainment can and should exist in harmony. Servant, for example, is a TV series made for a streaming platform. But Shyamalan also makes movies that are meant to be seen on the big screen, like Split, Glass, and the upcoming film Old.
The other issue being taken with the Warner Bros. streaming move is the fact that the studio made a blanket decision about an entire year. Many believe that theaters will be back up and running later this year, thanks to the arrival of vaccines, which would leave Warner Bros. in a difficult spot.
What do you think of WB's decision? Do you agree with M. Night Shyamalan? Let us know in the comments!