×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ben Stiller: Studios Aren’t Run by People Like Netflix’s Ted Sarandos

The cast of “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” weighed in on the ongoing Netflix-Cannes controversy — a small facet of the larger friction between traditional studios and streaming services — in an interview with Variety at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday.

Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler, who play half-brothers navigating the dysfunction of their family in the film, said if the studios are unhappy with Netflix making inroads on their territory, they have no one to blame but themselves.

“I don’t know why the studios have become so adverse to making interesting films and taking chances,” Stiller said. “I guess it’s about money. These studios are owned by big conglomerates and they’re not independent studios making films. They have a huge profit margin, so they make movies that can make a lot of money. Unfortunately, that means the really good interesting movies aren’t getting made.”

Sandler said working with Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos creates a “cool feeling,” because he comes across as a fan of film, rather than just a businessman. Stiller agreed, elaborating that Sarandos is a “creative,” who reminds him of the types of people who ran studios back in the day.

“Now, studios are not headed by people who have that appreciation for creativity,” he said.

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, who play the patriarch of the Meyerowitz clan and his far-younger, fourth wife, respectively, also put their two cents in. Hoffman disagreed that Netflix has changed the industry and said that instead, “the industry changed, and they got on in the first act of the change.”

Thompson stressed that streaming services won’t take business away from theaters, likening it to the expectation that Amazon’s Kindle was going to make physical books obsolete, which it hasn’t.

“People will make art, and we’ll watch in different ways, that’s for sure,” she said. “But it’s not going to kill going to the cinema.”

Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowtiz Stories (New and Selected)” premiered at Cannes after Netflix acquired distribution rights in April, despite facing review from Cannes officials as a result of an outcry from French exhibitors due to the films’ lack of a theatrical release. It will compete for the Palme d’Or — the highest prize awarded at the festival.

Watch the interview above or here.

More Film

  • Cate Blanchett's 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette'

    Cate Blanchett's 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Moved Back to August

    Annapurna Pictures has moved its Richard Linklater literary adaptation “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” starring Cate Blanchett back five months from March 22 to an Aug. 9 release. A rep for Annapurna explained that August has served well as a launching pad for release of female-skewing films such as “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Florence Foster Jenkins” and [...]

  • Kumail Nanjiani Issa Rae

    Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae to Star in 'Lovebirds' Romantic Comedy

    “The Big Sick” star Kumail Nanjiani and “Insecure” star Issa Rae will topline Paramount’s romantic comedy “The Lovebirds.” The project will reunite Nanjiani with “The Big Sick” helmer Michael Showalter, who’s on board to direct from a script by Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, and Martin Gero. The project goes into production at the end of [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • 'The Pledge' Review

    Film Review: 'Pledge'

    “Privilege comes with sacrifice” says one character to another in “Pledge” — exactly the kind of noble sentiment authority figures always voice to hush the protests of those about to be sacrificed. This third feature for director Daniel Robbins is no delicate flower of cinematic art, but a lean and mean shocker that tells its [...]

  • John Lithgow

    John Lithgow-Blythe Danner's 'Tomorrow Man' Bought Ahead of Sundance Premiere

    In one of the first deals for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, Bleecker Street has acquired North American rights to the John Lithgow-Blythe Danner romance “The Tomorrow Man.” The movie will hold its world premiere at the fest, which opens on Jan. 24 in Park City, Utah. The distributor is planning a May 17 release. [...]

  • Dragon Ball Super Broly

    'Dragon Ball Super: Broly' Scores Big First Day With $7 Million

    Funimation Films’ Japanese anime movie “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” has opened impressively with a dominant first-day total of $7 million at 1,260 North American locations on Wednesday. The English-language version of “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” which screened at 180 Imax and Cinemark XD premium large format screens, generated by far the best per-screen average among [...]

  • Shoplifters Cannes

    Box Office: 'Shoplifters' Hits $2 Million to Become One of 2018's Highest-Grossing Foreign Films

    Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters” has become an unexpected box office success. The Japanese drama about a petty thief who adopts a young girl has earned critical raves and picked up the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. That translated into commercial success for Magnolia, the indie distributor that’s been overseeing the film’s rollout. “Shoplifters” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content