‘Annihilation’ Director Alex Garland Talks Disappointment With Netflix Deal | Film News
If you’re a resident in the United States, Canada or China, you’ll be able to make the trip to the big screen to see director Alex Garland‘s follow up to Ex Machina, Annihilation, on the big screen. Seventeen days after the release of the film in those countries however, the rest of the world will get the film released on Netflix.
The deal was revealed last week due to a battle between producers and Paramount, who are reportedly too scared to take a risk on the film. Speaking with Collider, Garland expressed disappointment that most of the world won’t get to experience his film on the big screen as it was intended:
“Disappointment really. We made the film for cinema. I’ve got no problem with the small screen at all. The best genre piece I’ve seen in a long time was The Handmaid’s Tale, so I think there’s incredible potential within that context, but if you’re doing that – you make it for that [medium] and you think of it in those terms.
Look… it is what it is[…] One of the big pluses of Netflix is that it goes out to a lot of people and you don’t have that strange opening weekend thing where you’re wondering if anyone is going to turn up and then if they don’t, it vanishes from cinema screens in two weeks. So it’s got pluses and minuses, but from my point of view and the collective of the people who made it – [it was made] to be seen on a big screen”.
It’s that tricky conundrum that has popped up in recent years since Netflix has become a major power player in Hollywood. The Cannes Film Festival recently banned films being released solely on the service from competing for its most prestigious prize, the Palme d’Or, and like Garland, there are plenty of directors who would prefer their films released on the big screen.
However, as Garland points out, it does likely mean that more people will be able to see the film, which can be especially in helpful in countries outside the U.S. where cinema release dates are sometimes months after the domestic release.
The most important thing for the moment is whether the film is good. But at some point there is going to be an even bigger shift in how films are distributed with more companies coming out with their own streaming services and competing for subscribers, and Garland might not be the only director a little disappointed in the inability for their films to be seen as originally intended.