Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has shared her thoughts on the ongoing changes in the movie landscape as more films launch on streaming services day one. She said the decision to bring Wonder Woman 1984 to HBO Max was a “very, very, very difficult choice,” and it was the best the company could do under trying circumstances with the pandemic. But she said releasing on HBO Max was “hugely detrimental” to the movie, and she went on to criticize movies that come to streaming services as being “fake movies.”
“I was looking at what is actually turning out to be true, which is, we have no idea when this pandemic is going to get under control in the way that we hoped,” she said at CinemaCon recently, as reported by the LA Times. “It was the best choice of a bunch of very bad choices at the moment. It was a heartbreaking experience and hugely detrimental to the movie, and I sort of knew that could happen.”
Jenkins acknowledged that she was “happy to give the movie to the public,” and it was the right choice overall with all factors considered. Looking ahead, Jenkins said she hopes her movies can avoid the day-and-date release strategy in the future. (Warner Bros. has announced it won’t bring back day-and-date movies in 2022, instead opting for 45-day exclusive windows with theaters).
“I’m not a fan of day-and-date and I hope to avoid it forever. The truth is, I make movies for the big screen. I’m OK with people watching it for a second or third time on their phone, but I’m not making it for that experience,” she said. “I love the theatrical experience, and I don’t understand why we’re talking about throwing it away for 700 streaming services that there’s no room for in the marketplace. It doesn’t make sense for studios that have billion-dollar industries to throw them in the garbage so they can roll the dice at competing with Netflix. It’s crazy to me. All I’m saying is that one studio should make a huge commitment to the theatrical experience and plant the flag and the filmmakers will go there as a result.”
CinemaCon is a convention put on by owners of movie theaters, so her comments railing against streaming are not that surprising. In another jab at streaming movies, Jenkins said they are “like fake movies.”
“All of the films that streaming services are putting out, I’m sorry, they look like fake movies to me. I don’t hear about them, I don’t read about them,” Jenkins said. “It’s not working as a model for establishing legendary greatness.”
Jenkins has a deal with Netflix, but for TV instead of film. “Streaming is great for massive amounts of content and bingeing TV shows. I think they are two very different skill sets and I see them succeeding as two very different things. That’s why I think it’s a mistake for the film industry to throw something away so valuable,” she said.
Jenkins is lined up to direct the next Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot, along with a Cleopatra film also set to feature the Wonder Woman star in the title role. Additionally, Jenkins is lined up to direct a Star Wars: Rogue Squadron movie for Disney.