Judd Apatow is calling out Warner Bros.
After the studio revealed that they’ll be releasing their entire slate of 2021 releases via HBO Max, the King of Staten Island director spoke out against the decision as part of Variety‘s Virtual FYC Fest.
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During the appearance, he discussed how his Universal film The King of Staten Island skipped theaters amid the pandemic and went straight to premium video-on-demand in June.
“It was a very respectful conversation about how to get the movie out there,” he said.
“The only thing I really have to give to the human race is something pleasant at a time like this that might make you feel happy and appreciate the people that are risking their lives for you.”
However, he said watching the Warner Bros. decision “certainly made me appreciate Universal.”
“It’s somewhat shocking that a studio for their entire slate could call what appears to be nobody. It’s the type of disrespect that you hear about in the history of show business. But to do that to just every single person that you work with is really somewhat stunning,” he said.
He also discussed how he and Universal worked out compensation before his movie went to PVOD, which was different from switching movies that were meant for theatrical distribution to a streaming service.
“It creates a financial nightmare, because most people are paid residuals — they’re paid back-end points. What they get out of it for years and years of hard work is usually based on the success of their films. And so now what does it mean to have a movie go straight to streaming? How do they decide what to pay you? Do you even have a contract that allows you to negotiate, or is it really just up to them at this point? It raises thousands of questions, which I’m sure are very complicated.”
The Dune director similarly has spoken out against the decision.
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