Netflix has made sweeping changes to the theatrical-distribution model that catered to the film industry for decades. Because the streaming service has access to a substantial, built-in audience, Paramount can sell them a Cloverfield sequel AND make it available almost instantaneously, as The Cloverfield Paradox did for viewers on Super Bowl Sunday. Similarly, the benefits of the Netflix model are creating new advantages for filmmakers, as Mute director Duncan Jones recently revealed to CinemaBlend that he no longer has the stress of opening-weekend expectations, because he's not going theatrical. On the eve of the release of Mute, Duncan Jones explains:
Duncan Jones was opening up about his sci-fi thriller Mute, which opens on Netflix on February 23. That day, the original film -- which has a loose tie to Jones' previous sci-fi drama Moon -- will be available to all Netflix subscribers in the U.S.
I was asking Jones what he used to do on opening weekend to keep himself busy when he had a new movie reaching theaters. In talking about his process, Duncan Jones also realized that dropping a film right on Netflix means that the marketing needs of a theatrical release don't factor in, so a movie's secrets can be protected until the movie is viewed. He elaborates:
Mute has plenty of secrets to reveal, once the audience is able to see it. In the movie, set in a sci-fi future, a mute bartender (Alexander Skarsgard) gets involved with two seedy criminals (Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux) when his girlfriend goes missing. It's a movie Duncan Jones has been trying to make for 16 years, and he tells us that without the freedom of the Netflix model, he'd never be able to deliver Mute in the version that he prefers. Jones says:
Duncan Jones' Mute will be on Netflix on Friday, February 23. To get a sense of the world, watch this trailer:
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.