Major Hollywood Directors Are Bashing Streaming Services For A Very Good Reason

Hollywood professionals like Rian Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer are speaking out against streaming's latest trend of canceling completed projects.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

The creative minds in Hollywood are rightly frustrated after streaming platforms and production companies have spent the past year developing a new and unpopular trend in the film industry. According to The Hollywood Reporter, famous directors like Rian Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer are bashing the streaming services for following Warner Bros. Discovery‘s example. More and more frequently, finished shows and movies are being canceled before their release, and many projects are being pulled from platforms to be eternally shelved.

These cancelations are the streaming platforms’ way of answering the possible threat of a recession, rising inflation, and the pressure to consolidate. While executives in big offices deal with finding new ways to cut budgets, the creatives and the fans of these canceled projects suffer the consequences. Far too often, the best way for these production companies to save money is through tax write-offs on almost complete (or 100 percent completed) projects like Batgirl, Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, and Snowpeircer.

While Warner Bros. Discovery started this unfortunate new trend, streaming platforms are starting to emulate the production company’s practices. Recently, Netflix offloaded two completed Original films after deciding not to distribute the features after all. The Inheritance, starring Bob Gunton, Peyton List, and Austin Stowell, and House/Wife, starring Alice Braga, Kris Holden-Ried, and Sarah Gadon, were only two of the recently canceled projects, with more films and shows sentenced to the production graveyard by Disney, HBO Max, and AMC.


Rian Johnson, writer and director of the Knives Out franchise, described the dreadful reality of being a creator in an industry that could cancel a project at any stage. The prolific filmmaker went as far as to say that the entire history of the film industry is made up of “a constant evolution of horrible things.” However, despite the growing cancelation trend, Johnson said that, as a creator, all one can do is continue to make content and hope that it will find the right audience.

Jerry Bruckheimer is a well-known producer with 120 producer credits on his resume, including all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Top Gun: Maverick. Bruckheimer shares a compassionate, though judgemental, perspective regarding the streaming cancelation trend. The producer says that every filmmaker has bad movies, and sometimes those movies get pulled. Though, he hopes that the films and shows that have recently been pulled will end up on some platform sometime in the future.

It’s not exactly fair for Bruckheimer to assume that all the projects these streaming platforms have canceled weren’t good enough to be released. It seems far more likely that these canceled projects are simply the victims of changing times as production companies figure out this relatively new (when considering the history of film) thing called streaming. For instance, in February, Paramount+ announced its merger with Showtime, consequently canceling three of Showtimes’s projects: Kidding, Super Pumped, and American Rust.

Hopefully, Bruckheimer is correct, and these abandoned projects will find their home and their audience sometime in the future. However, until Hollywood figures out a better strategy, its creatives like Johnson and the actors involved in these canceled streaming projects who end up suffering from the industry’s growing pains.