The upcoming release of Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max as well as movie theatres simultaneously was probably something neither Warner Bros. or the rest of the film industry imagined a year ago, but here we are today.
The New York Times reports that lead star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins were reportedly paid a massive US$10 million each as part of a deal to help promote the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 on the streamer.
The deal with HBO Max and Warner Bros. was also reportedly a result of negotiations to ensure that the duo were paid what they would have earned if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t happened, according to Gadot’s and Jenkins’ agents. The New York Times states that the deal would have been either US$10M or 25% of the film’s total earnings, whichever was higher.
This deal was made despite the vehement objections of Tenet director Christopher Nolan regarding Warner Bros.’ decision to release all of its upcoming 2021 slate of movies on the streamer and cinemas simultaneously without consulting him and other filmmakers and their stars.
That said, it seems that Jenkins also shared Nolan’s views to some degree, but ultimately conceded that what Warner Bros. is doing is the right one given the current circumstances of the cinema industry today.
“If you had told me a year ago that we would ever go straight to streaming in any way, shape or form, I would have flipped out,” said Jenkins during a panel at on the SiriusXM Stars YouTube channel (via Deadline). “Like I’m not for that plan in general, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m very pro theatrical release and I will be that again, as soon as this is over.”
“However, this is such a crazy year. It’s such a crazy year. It’s like all of us are trying to figure out with our lives, how to do everything the best we can. And so I kept saying there is no good option. Like when we would talk about it, there was no good option. Wait until when. And then every movie in the world tries to come out at the same time. And you know, there was no good option. I literally gasped a little bit when the pitch for this idea was said, because I was like, ‘Oh, the idea of it going into people’s homes on Christmas Day.’ ”
Like Nolan, Jenkins is hoping that when the vaccine for COVID-19 is made and distributed eventually, studios will slowly stop relying on this stopgap approach and make their feature films premiere in theatres exclusively before going on streamers.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.