- Christopher Nolan apologized to Netflix’s head of content Ted Sarandos after calling Netflix’s movie strategy “mindless.” Netflix has clashed with many movie traditionalists over its release strategy. Netflix will release 80 new movies in 2018.
Director Christopher Nolan revealed that he wrote Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos an apology after calling Netflix’s movie strategy “mindless,” in an interview with Variety.
“I should have been more polite,” Nolan said. “I said what I believe, but I was undiplomatic in the way I expressed it. I wasn’t giving any context to the frankly revolutionary nature of what Netflix has done. It’s extraordinary. They need appropriate respect for that, which I have.”
In July, the director heavily criticized the streaming company’s movie strategy and its resistance to the theatrical window, during an interview with IndieWire, and even accused Netflix of trying to shut down theaters.
“I think the investment that Netflix is putting into interesting filmmakers and interesting projects would be more admirable if it weren’t being used as some kind of bizarre leverage against shutting down theaters,” Nolan said at the time. “It’s so pointless. I don’t really get it.”
But Nolan isn’t the only one that’s criticized Netflix’s strategy: Netflix has clashed with the theater industry thanks in large part to its release strategy.
Netflix releases its films both in theaters and on its site simultaneously, without waiting the traditional 90-day theatrical window. This stands in contrast to the theater-friendly policy of Amazon, which respects the traditional window. As a result, Netflix has been blacklisted from releasing its films in most major theater chains.
Netflix achieved a major film milestone this year when two of its films – “Okja” and “The Meyerowitz Stories” – were admitted into the Festival de Cannes. But criticism from the old guard prompted the festival to add a new rule dictating that any films that wished to be included in the festival next year would have to have a theatrical release in France.
In a Facebook post, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings responded to the festival’s ruling saying that he felt theater chains were trying to “block” Netflix from entering the “festival competition.”
Despite criticisms of Netflix’s methods, the streaming giant seems to be moving onward and upward, and is planning on releasing 80 films in 2018, according to Variety.