×

Steven Spielberg Takes Veiled Shot at Streamers, Urges Filmmakers to Make Movies for Theaters

Steven Spielberg is continuing his quest to push filmmakers to make movies for theaters and not just for television.

“I hope all of us really continue to believe that the greatest contributions we can make as filmmakers is to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience,” the directing legend said on Saturday night while accepting the Filmmaker Award at the Cinema Audio Society’s CAS Awards at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. “I’m a firm believer that movie theaters need to be around forever.”

While he didn’t mention any one streaming service or network by name, Spielberg said, “I love television. I love the opportunity. Some of the greatest writing being done today is for television, some of the best directing for television, some of the best performances [are] on television today. The sound is better in homes more than it ever has been in history but there’s nothing like going to a big dark theater with people you’ve never met before and having the experience wash over you. That’s something we all truly believe in.”

In March 2018, Spielberg spoke out against Netflix films earning Oscar recognition. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” he told ITV News. “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

Popular on Variety

Netflix’s “Roma” is going into the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24 with 10 nominations, including best picture and best director for Alfonso Cuarón, after it was offered in a limited, theatrical window.

While speaking at Variety’s annual Dealmakers breakfast in December, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos raised eyebrows when he said, “I love the theatrical experience and we’re not in conflict with anyone, I think we’re a complement to each other. [“Roma”] is awesome on the big screen, but most of the world does not have access to do that. What I want to do is connect people with movies they’re going to love. And they’re going to love ‘Roma.’ They’re going to love it on their phone, they’re going to love it on a huge big screen.”

Bradley Cooper presented the award to Spielberg “for consistently pushing the envelope over decades of incredible work and for appreciating the contributions that sound has made not only to your films but to movies.”

The “A Star Is Born” director said Spielberg is an idol to every “first-time director,” but then he added, “f— that — [to] every since director.”

More Scene

  • BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 21:

    Jenna Andrews Hosts Zhavia Ward, Lennon Stella at Jed Foundation Fundraiser

    Jenna Andrews, the Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and executive, hosted a pre-Grammy event in partnership with The Jed Foundation at Alice and Olivia in West Hollywood on Tuesday.  The non-profit Jed is dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide. The foundation has partnered with high schools and colleges in order to “strengthen mental health, [...]

  • Coldplay - Chris Martin

    Grammys 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Let the music play, indeed. The Grammys are just days away and dozens of parties are happening every night this week leading up to the big day, Sunday, Jan. 26. And the partying continues with several bashes following the ceremony. (All events listed are by invitation only unless marked otherwise; this list is being updated [...]

  • Jared Harris arrives at the 26th

    No, Jared Harris is Not Playing Doctor Octopus in Marvel's 'Morbius'

    The first-ever trailer for Marvel and Sony’s next Spider-man spinoff “Morbius” left comic book fans reeling with theories. While the plight of the main character, Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) – a scientist dying of a rare blood disease who accidentally turns himself into a vampire – seemed ripped right out of the comics, the [...]

  • Charlize Theron31st Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly's 'Bombshell' Reaction Video Was 'Really Validating'

    Charlize Theron says it was “really emotional” to watch Megyn Kelly’s half-hour response video to “Bombshell,” the Oscar-nominated feature film that depicts the sexual harassment Kelly (as played by Theron) and several other women experienced from Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The video, which Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on Jan. 9, shows Kelly, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content