After watching Marvel pull the release date for Black Widow, all eyes turned to Wonder Woman 1984, which is currently set for a June 5 release date. But as more and more studios alter their schedules, and some turn to day and date VOD releases, a bombshell report from The Wrap claimed Warner Bros. was contemplating bypassing theaters and releasing its Wonder Woman sequel on streaming. The move would make it the most high-profile film, and the first summer blockbuster, to pivot towards a digital strategy.
The discussions are still preliminary and have remained close to Warner Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich and his top advisers, according to one individual with knowledge of the conversation. Even director Patty Jenkins and producer Charles Roven have not been brought into the talks.
According to the Warner insiders, the preference is still to release the movie theatrically — but executives are considering a streaming alternative, probably as a direct-to-consumer offering rather than as part of Warner’s soon-to-launch subscription service HBO Max. The concern, the insiders said, is that there is no known date for movie theaters to reopen and there may be a shortage of favorable dates once theaters do come back online for the many films that have been postponed.
The news quickly spread like wildfire on Friday, but within hours, Warner Bros. stepped in and confirmed to IndieWire that Wonder Woman 1984 will get a “full theatrical run” and not go directly to streaming. The studio is “sticking with its original plan to release the film nationwide,” and that includes the June 5 release date, which Warners is reluctant to abandon. Considering health officials are still cautioning that social distancing and quarantines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus could continue for several weeks, the studio may not have much of a choice in the matter.