'Wonder Woman 1984' director Patty Jenkins said studios will have an 'empty slate of quality filmmakers' if they release movies online instead of in theaters in the long-term

  • Director Patty Jenkins told the New York Times that movie studios could suffer an "empty slate of quality filmmakers" if they decide to move theatrical releases to streaming services permanently.
  • Jenkins said that's because "every great filmmaker" is going to want to work at studios that revert back to the traditional model of movie releases.
  • Jenkins' "Wonder Woman 1984" was one of many films that Warner Bros. announced will debut simultaneously in theatres and on its HBO Max streaming platform.
  • The director had previously said the move will be "an irreversible process" and that movie theatre-going could be "lost forever."
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As the pandemic drags on, many are speculating about what the future holds for traditional movie theatres, including Patty Jenkins, the director of "Wonder Woman 1984."

In an interview with the New York Times published Monday, Jenkins said movie studios could suffer if they decide to release new movies on streaming services forever. Warner Bros. recently announced it would debut all of its movies in 2021 simultaneously on its HBO Max streaming service and in cinemas, including Jenkin's "Wonder Woman 1984."

Jenkins told the Times that she's not sure if she believes the decision is temporary, though Warner Bros. said that it's only for the new year. She also said that if some studios decide to go back to "the traditional model," then there will be "tremendous upheaval in the industry" because the greatest in the filmmaking world will want to work there.

"The studios that make this radical change [of moving their theatrical releases to a streaming service], particularly without consulting the artists, will end up with a very empty slate of quality filmmakers working there," Jenkins told the NYT.

Scores of people driven inside during the pandemic have turned to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. When Warner Bros. made its stunning decision to premiere all of its 2021 movies in theatres and on HBO Max, it signaled how it was investing more heavily in its streaming service to get ahead in the race, as Business Insider's Travis Clark reported.

Read more: HBO Max's chief breaks down the seismic decision to stream all 2021 Warner Bros. movies as they hit theaters and responds to speculation about 2022 and beyond

But many in the film-making world were angry with the move, including director Christopher Nolan and Jenkins, who previously suggested that the studio's decision "will not be a reversible process" and that movie theatre-going could be lost "forever."

"I don't think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room," Jenkins told Reuters in October.

Read the New York Times' full interview with Jenkins here.

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