You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler Debate the Pros and Cons of Netflix

Before Netflix produced a fordable slate of awards movies this year — including “The Irishman,” “Dolemite is My Name,” “The Two Popes” and “Marriage Story” — the streaming goliath initially needed credibility among filmmakers.

Both Adam Sandler and Brad Pitt were early adapters, as two of the first A-list stars to crossover to Netflix. In 2014, Sandler signed a multi-movie deal with Netflix for his projects to be released directly into homes. And Brad Pitt also made the leap to Netflix shortly after that, with his 2017 military satire “War Machine.”

For a conversation for Variety’s Actors on Actors issue, on newsstands on Nov. 12, Pitt and Sandler discuss how Netflix has changed Hollywood.

“You were one of the first to go to Netflix,” Pitt tells Sandler. “You crossed the picket line.”

“I sure did,” Sandler responds. “I didn’t even know I was doing that. They were interested in working together; they were so passionate. I’m just tight with Netflix. They love providing opportunities for many different types of comedies.”

Pitt points out that he’s not against streaming movies, but he sees the pros and cons. “I guess my point is, I’m all for change,” Pitt says. “I’m not going to fight. I see the positive more and more. I see really interesting material get made … On the other hand, people talk about lamenting the death of the cinematic experience. Is that gone, because the home experience has gotten so good?”

“I don’t see it being gone,” Sandler responds. “I don’t think stuff goes away forever. I just think this is where it’s at right now.”

Pitt points out more pluses — and one minus — associated with Netflix. “The upside of films through streaming is a lot of them get more eyes on it; more people actually see them. The downside: There’s so much material that they can become disposable.”

Sandler doesn’t buy that argument. “It seems like stuff that is exciting to see, though, does get talked about a lot, where you say, ‘OK, I’ve got to check that out.'”

But there is one indisputable benefit to working with Netflix. “What I love is we don’t have to do much press,” Pitt says. “It’s nice, isn’t it? We don’t have to get out there. We’re not fighting for eyes. We’re not trying to put butts in seats, as they tell us we need to do.”

Pitt is in the Oscars race this year for his performances in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and James Gray’s” space epic “Ad Astra.” Adam Sandler, meanwhile, is receiving some of the best reviews of his career for playing a New York jeweler with a gambling problem in the Safdie brothers comedy “Uncut Gems.”

“Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” is an Emmy Award-winning series that highlights the best TV and movie performances of the year. In addition to Pitt and Sandler, the latest season includes conversations between Tom Hanks and Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Lopez and Robert Pattinson, Laura Dern and Sterling K. Brown, and Chris Evans and Scarlett Johnasson, among others. The series will air on PBS SoCal starting on Jan. 2.

Watch the Full Interview: 

More Film

  • Lamia Chraïbi Teams With Hicham Lasri

    Lamia Chraibi Teams With Hicham Lasri on Pan-Arab Supernatural Series 'Meskoun' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Lamia Chraibi, a leading producer of daring films from the Middle East and North Africa region, is developing “Meskoun,” an ambitious pan-Arab genre-bending series with Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Lasri (“Jahilya”) on board as showrunner. Chraibi (“Mimosas”) will produce the 14-episode series with her Moroccan banner La Prod, along with Mohamed Hefzy’s Egyptian company Film Clinic, [...]

  • Leap! first draft picks

    ATF: Leap! to Discover the Next Generation of Singapore Talent

    Singapore has launched a scheme to help find the next generation of filmmakers from the South East Asia region. Local content producers Blue3Asia and CreativesAtWork, with the support of Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority launched the Leap!, a short film production scheme at the ongoing Asian TV Forum & Market on Thursday. Seven filmmakers from [...]

  • Mikhail Red

    ScreenSingapore: Mikhail Red Announces Philippines Western ‘Arisaka’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Cult Filipino filmmaker, Mikhail Red will direct “Arisaka,” a film named after a World War II Japanese bolt-action rifle. “It’s a Western based on a famous massacre that happened in the Philippines,” Red told Variety. Philippines production house Ten17P, whose credits include Lav Diaz’s “A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery” and Paul Soriano’s “Mananita,” will [...]

  • Stephen Graham Venom 2

    'Irishman' Star Stephen Graham Joins 'Venom 2'

    Stephen Graham is set to join Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams in Sony’s “Venom 2,” with Hardy returning as the titular anti-hero. Andy Serkis is set to direct, and Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson are also on board. Sony had no comment on the casting. The original film was a huge hit for the studio [...]

  • Sundance Winner Eugene Jarecki Prepares ‘Tuareg

    Sundance Winner Eugene Jarecki Prepares 'Tuareg Project' in Morocco

    Eugene Jarecki – two times winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize – for “Why We Fight” (2005) and “The House I Live In” (2012) – is preparing an untitled “Tuareg Project,” that he will shoot in Morocco. The pic will be produced by Addison O’Dea (“Discovery TRVLR”), and line produced by Moroccan producer Zakaria [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content