After the pandemic made it difficult for films to hit the big screen, Warner Bros Discovery trialed a “day-and-date” release for all of their 2021 movies, meaning that not only would their films be available in theatres, but would also be available to watch on streaming service HBO Max. Spielberg in turn took aim at this decision in an interview with the New York Times.
“The pandemic created an opportunity for streaming platforms to raise their subscriptions to record-breaking levels and also throw some of my best filmmaker friends under the bus as their movies were unceremoniously not given theatrical releases,” he said. “They were paid off and the films were suddenly relegated to, in this case, HBO Max. The case I’m talking about. And then everything started to change.”
After a number of senior changes at the production giant over the last few months, Warner Bros. has amassed a lot of controversies, especially over their treatment of DC movies in particular. Batgirl, which was set to drop exclusively on HBO Max, included Leslie Grace, Brendan Fraser, J.K. Simmons, and Batman actor Michael Keaton among the star-studded line-up for the superhero movie.
However, Warner decided to pull the plug on the film entirely in order to focus on “theatrical releases,” which amassed a lot of controversy among fans, the cast, the crew, and the action movie‘s directors: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.
When it comes to disappointments, there were plenty of them in the movie biz this year, but at least we’ll never feel disappointed with a Steven Spielberg movie. The Fablemans, Spielberg’s latest project, will be released on January 27, 2023.