In truth, the news should not come as a shock. Streaming juggernauts such as Netflix and Amazon have been creating original films for their respective platforms for several years.
The Warner Bros. announcement, however, is unique in that it’s one of the first major movie studios to enter the streaming-only arena, and it will be interesting to see which projects Warner Bros. greenlights for streaming, and which ones go to theaters. Additionally, Warner Bros. has seen a large uptick in HBO Max subscriptions, adding 2.8 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2021 (via Variety), so expanding its exclusive content is a logical step.
There’s no word yet as to exactly which projects will be coming to HBO Max next year. The studio has already announced that its upcoming “Batgirl” film, which just cast Leslie Grace as the titular hero, will be an HBO Max exclusive. With “Batgirl” beginning filming in late 2021, it’s possible the DCEU film is one of the 10 projects included in the Warner Bros. announcement.
While Warner Bros. will continue to produce films for the big screen, the announcement clearly reflects a changing landscape for cinema at large.