Christopher Nolan Reportedly Cutting Ties with Warner Bros. over HBO Max Drama

Image: Warner Bros.

Christopher Nolan has kept a close relationship with Warner Bros. ever since the studio entrusted the acclaimed director to tackle psychological thriller Insomnia back in 2002, but due to recent controversies, their lucrative collaborations are likely coming to an end. This is according to sources with The Wall Street Journal (via The Playlist), which published a report today claiming that the Batman Begins and Memento filmmaker would be looking at a different studio for his next project based on Warner’s decision to embrace the streaming model and release its 2021 blockbusters straight to HBO Max.

“After spending years as a top Warner Bros. director, Christopher Nolan, who wrote and directed last year’s Tenet, is unlikely to return to the studio with his next project, in part because he was disappointed with the studio’s hybrid distribution strategy for 2021, according to people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal wrote in a piece discussing the effects that streaming and coronavirus have had on Hollywood and the film industry.

It was only last month that Christopher Nolan ripped HBO Max as the “worst streaming service” after Warner Bros. and parent company AT&T announced that they’d be doubling down on streaming and using their upcoming portfolio of blockbusters to entice film aficionados into signing up for HBO Max, which isn’t doing quite as well as Netflix, Disney+, and other major competitors.

“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,” Nolan said. “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.”

In a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight, Nolan said that he was in disbelief of the decision, calling it a “bait and switch” that has since generated a “very, very, very, very messy” level of controversy.

“Yeah, it’s sort of not how you treat filmmakers and stars and people who, these guys have given a lot for these projects,” the director said. “They deserved to be consulted and spoken to about what was going to happen to their work.”

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