'The Dark Knight' director Christopher Nolan has castigated Netflix for what he sees as harming cinema attendances.
"Netflix has a bizarre aversion to supporting theatrical films," he told IndieWire. "They have this mindless policy of everything having to be simultaneously streamed and released, which is obviously an untenable model for theatrical presentation."
Netflix has been criticised for this before. Members of the Cannes Film Festival board recently claimed that films like Netflix's that only receive limited theatrical runs shouldn't qualify for the festival.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently said that cinemas will continue to exist, no matter how successful Netflix becomes. He compared Netflix to cooking food at home and watching films in the cinema to eating out, his argument being that people will always want to eat out every now and again.
Director Bong Joon-ho also said that while he prefers his films to be seen in cinemas, it's worth the trade-off because Netflix gives him complete creative control and a huge budget.
But this doesn't fly with Nolan.
"I think the investment that Netflix is putting into interesting projects would be more admirable if it weren't being used as some kind of bizarre leverage against shutting down theatres," he said. "It's so pointless. I don't really get it."
He went on to say he was only interested in talking about "theatrical exhibition". This drew criticism from some who pointed out that not everyone has a cinema in their town, and that Netflix's films are being financed by its 100 million-plus users, so why shouldn't they get to watch the film via the service on the day of its cinematic release?
Some Hollywood studios are obviously feeling the Netflix effect. Fox is reportedly planning to release in cinemas at least one multi-part film series within weeks of each other, in echoes of Netflix's binge-watching strategy. That means instead of waiting years between instalments, viewers may be able to watch three film adaptations of R.L. Stine's 'Fear Street' books just one month apart from each other.
Truly, the Netflix effect is changing how we watch...