Directors Aaron Sorkin and Patty Jenkins recently sat down for Variety‘s Virtual FYC Fest and discussed a wide array of topics, including the state of moviegoing after the Warner Bros announcement earlier this month that they will send their entire 2021 slate to their streaming service HBO Max.
Both directors had films slated to be released in theaters this year. Wonder Woman 1984 and The Trial of the Chicago Seven were set to be released in July and September, respectively. Now, the latest Wonder Woman movie will find its way into homes and theaters on Christmas day, while The Trial of the Chicago Seven was released on Netflix in October after Paramount Pictures sold it to the streaming service.
In the interview, the two directors discussed the current and the future state of movie going. The whole discussion will be released at this year’s Virtual FYC Fest, hosted by Variety, from December 15-17. Though a short excerpt can be seen here.
Sorkin opens with an obvious sentiment in the industry and for life in 2020. He says, “Everything is going to change now,” as the world, and mostly the US, is approaching the year long mark of a pandemic that has felt much longer. Once thought to be a simple delay in releases has turned into a back-up of finished films.
As artists mull over what exactly to do, Warner Bros. makes the announcement to the chagrin of many directors. However, Jenkins and Sorkin agree on many sentiments during this time of uncertainty. Sorkin saying, “For 4,000 years nothing has replaced the experience of being part of an audience.” From cavemen to Shakespeare to Avengers: Endgame, audience viewing is something everyone loves to do whether it be film, sports, or any joint event.
While the pandemic has changed life, audience viewing will be there after. Nothing can change that, and nothing has changed it before. Not even following the 1918 Spanish Flu. Jenkins expands on this sentiment mentioning that mass production of books, Television, and streaming services have all attempted to dethrone the audience viewing, but they have managed to live adjacent with one another for decades.
Hearing from the two, as well as Christopher Nolan earlier this week, is fascinating because unlike many well-known directors, their films were still released amid the pandemic. They are essentially test subjects for the foreseeable future of blockbuster releases.
Being those subjects is a hard pill to swallow, but Jenkins is optimistic about the situation. She ends this excerpt by stating that she believes artists will come together to keep making great art that is important and deserves to be seen by a large audience.
That’s all moviegoers and artists can hope for.
The Trial of the Chicago Seven is currently streaming on Netflix, while Wonder Woman 1984 will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25, 2020.