In a recent conversation with The Washington Post, Christopher Nolan, the acclaimed director of "Oppenheimer," addressed the growing concern of films vanishing from streaming platforms, emphasizing the importance of home releases in preserving cinematic projects.
Nolan clarified that a previous comment he made about preventing an "evil streaming service" from stealing projects was intended as a joke. However, he underscored a genuine worry about the potential danger for movies that solely exist on streaming platforms.
"There is a danger these days that if things only exist in the streaming version, they do get taken down," Nolan stated. He highlighted the transient nature of content on streaming services, where films can come and go due to licensing agreements and evolving circumstances. Nolan emphasized the significance of home video versions as a lasting means for audiences to access films.
While acknowledging the positive impact of new innovations in how people experience movies, Nolan expressed the need to protect the accessibility of filmmakers' work. He acknowledged that the issue of films disappearing from streaming services is not necessarily an intentional conspiracy but a result of evolving licensing agreements.
"The danger I'm talking about with a filmmaker's film just sort of disappearing from streaming one day and then maybe not coming back or not coming back for a long period of time, that's not an intentional conspiracy. That's just a way that with the particular licensing agreements, the way things are evolving," Nolan explained.
Nolan concluded with confidence that the issue will need to be addressed and fixed, expressing optimism about finding solutions to ensure the continued accessibility of films, even if not through physical media.
The concern over titles permanently disappearing from streaming services has gained prominence in recent months, with instances such as Disney dropping over 70 titles from Disney+ and Hulu, leading to a $1.5 billion tax write-down. Warner Bros. Discovery has also entered licensing deals with free, ad-supported channels for previously removed shows, highlighting the evolving landscape of digital content distribution.