Steven Spielberg Accuses Warner Bros. Of Throwing Directors Under The Bus

Steven Spielberg slams Warner Bros. for releasing most of their movies on HBO Max and throwing directors under the bus.

By James Brizuela | Published

The world of Warner Bros. Discovery was already being scrutinized for questionable moves made by current CEO, David Zaslav, but now the media conglomerate has drawn the ire of Steven Spielberg. The famed directed all but destroyed streaming apps and Warner Bros. in one fell swoop. According to Spielberg, “The pandemic created an opportunity for streaming platforms to raise their subscriptions to record-breaking levels and also throw some of my best filmmaker friends under the bus as their movies were unceremoniously not given theatrical releases.”

Steven Spielberg added that filmmakers were paid off so that streaming apps like HBO Max would then reap the benefits of being able to show movies at home and in theaters in a joint effort that was meant to combat the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Spielberg also cautioned that losing the magic of going to the theater was something that we all need. He added, “But I really believe those same older audiences, once they got into the theater, the magic of being in a social situation with a bunch of strangers is a tonic.” We would have to agree with the man, as not being able to go into a movie theater for over a year was quite unnerving.

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Despite the convenience of being able to stream a movie at home, there is nothing that is as appealing as going into a theater and hearing the cheers and laughs from people you have never met right along with you. Imagine if seeing Captain America wield Mjolnir for the first time happened at your home, instead of in a crowded theater. Steven Spielberg is right in that it is important to experience cinema at the movie theater. There is something inherently magical about being in the theater that needs to stay a constant in our lives.

While Steven Spielberg might be talking in a general tone towards filmmakers not seeing their movies make it to the big screen, the biggest issue for most of the cinema-loving world falls on the shoulders of David Zaslav’s decision to completely cancel Batgirl when it was reportedly finished. The bizarre and controversial decision to do so has left a stain on the record of Warner Bros. Discovery that the company might not be able to shake for a long time. Things might get far more complicated when HBO Max merges with Discovery+ in the summer of 2023.

The hope is that with the pandemic starting to wind down a bit, movie theaters and movies are going to return to proper form and be shown in theaters solely in the way that they were meant to. Tom Cruise refused to allow Top Gun: Maverick to be placed on a streaming service, and look how that turned out, as the movie become one of the biggest hits of 2022 and in cinema history. Steven Spielberg is also a master of blockbuster movies, so he would certainly not want to see his movies be stuck on a streaming service.

It is quite inspiring that Steven Spielberg is going to bat for many of his filmmaking friends, and we hope that theaters are going to be making the change to keep movies in-house, instead of releasing big pictures solely on streaming services. Spielberg’s next outing is The Fabelmans, which is set to release on November 23rd, most likely only in theaters. The issue is that the market might be leaning towards more successful at-home releases, though we believe that cinema will return in full force to theaters, as does Spielberg.