Mega-directors Patty Jenkins and Aaron Sorkin are not thrilled with Warner Bros.’ and Paramount‘s decision to circumvent classic theatrical releases this year and release their films to streamers. For Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot, the film will drop simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters December 25th. For Chicago 7, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Sacha Baron Cohen, Paramount sold film to Netflix, which opened in limited release in September and landed on the streamer in October.
Most recently, Warner Bros. said it was dropping everything on HBO Max and in theaters for all of 2021. Jenkins and Sorkin spoke to Variety and shared their perspective.
Sorkin said: “We’re all scared that everything’s going to change now. That movie theaters are basically going to become, like, art houses, and that the films that you and I make will only be seen on streaming services.”
He continued, “I don’t think that that’s going to happen. I think that for 4,000 years, nothing has replaced the experience of being part of an audience. That shared experience — being in a theater when the lights go down, everyone laughing at the same time, gasping at the same time, being silent at the same time, and having the final moment of the film reverberate at the same time.”
Jenkins predicted: “In this case, I think what’s going to happen is … some studio is going to be smart enough to be an outlier, and all the great filmmakers in town are going to go there, and the theaters are going to favor their movies. Because right now, if there are studios that announce that releasing day-and-date on streaming is what they’re going to start doing, every filmmaker’s going to head to the studio that promises they’re not going to.”