In today’s Movie News Rundown: Christopher Nolan leads the long list of people unhappy with Warner Bros.; the Chinese government seems a bit sensitive lately; and rest in peace to Chuck Yeager, the fastest man alive portrayed in The Right Stuff.
‘The Worst Streaming Service’: When Christopher Nolan isn’t reading things backwards, he’s using an antique typewriter to compose Victorian-style critiques of Warner Bros.’ decision to release all 17 of its 2021 films on its corporate cousin, HBO Max. “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,” he said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.“Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.”
More: THR also cites sources who say Warner Bros. COO Carolyn Blackwood cooked up the HBO Max idea after “looking at a relatively weak 2021 slate,” and seeing “an opportunity to avoid the humiliation of potentially bad grosses while currying favor with streamer-obsessed higher-ups.” Read the whole story, it’s great.
Legendary: Legendary Entertainment, the production company that co-financed Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong, two of the films headed to HBO Max, may sue Warner Bros. to seek a better financial deal, Variety reports.
But Stars Must Love This, Right? No! Those “important movie stars” Nolan mentioned are also not pleased with the let-them-eat-HBO-Max idea, according to The New York Times. The paper says Gal Gadot got more than $10 million when Warner Bros. decided to release Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max, but that many other stars were given no warning — or money — when Warner Bros. decided to take their movies to “the Max,” which is what we totally rad dudes with ‘tude call HBO Max.
Name the Stars! Okay. “Representatives for major Warner Bros. stars like Denzel Washington, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, Hugh Jackman and Angelina Jolie wanted to know why their clients had been treated in a lesser manner than Ms. Gadot,” the Times reported. “Talk of a Warner Bros. boycott began circulating inside the Directors Guild of America. A partner at one talent agency spent part of the weekend meeting with litigators.”
And Worst of All: “Some people started to angrily refer to the studio as Former Bros.”
That’s a Terrible Insult, Right? Yes, we separated it out from the other stuff because it was so dumb. We’re going to assume the people calling it “Former Bros.” are not writers.
Also in the Times: A Milla Jovavich film called Monster Hunter has been pulled from Chinese theaters over a joke so stupid even I didn’t laugh at it. At one point, a soldier played by Chinese-American rapper MC Jin says “Look at me knees? What kind of knees are these?” and delivers the punchline, “Chi-nese.” Per the Times, the scene will be cut.
R.I.P Chuck Yeager: The test pilot whose courageous quest to break the sound barrier is the subject of the riveting opening of 1983’s The Right Stuff, has died at 97. He was played by Sam Shepard in the film. “An incredible life, well-lived, America’s greatest pilot,” wrote his second wife, Victoria. The World War II veteran could have died many times in his attempt to be the fastest human to travel faster than sound, as The Right Stuff illustrates, and his breakthrough helped break down barriers to space travel.
Comment of the Day: Listener “GQueue” left this comment on Dan Delgado’s delightful The Industry podcast: “I love film history-podcasts, with two of my favorites being You Must Remember This with Karina Longworth and The Secret History of Hollywood with Adam Roche. Stumbled onto this podcast one day and I’m so glad I did… Host Dan Delgado does a great job in presenting obscure or forgotten bits of film and TV history and the determined and sometimes offbeat characters producing it in an engaging and entertaining way.” He also praises Dan’s “exceptional radio voice” and the show’s “high production standard.” You can listen to The Industry on Apple or Spotify or here:
A Thing I Like Now: Is @swear_trek. It is what it sounds like.
— Swear Trek (@swear_trek) November 23, 2020
And Now: Yesterday’s Movie News Rundown.