Straight To Digital Release "Nothing But A Strength," Says New Blumhouse Horror Movie Director
Seasoned screenwriter and director David Koepp says skipping theaters and going straight to VOD is a good thing for movies.
David Koepp has had a storied and varied career in Hollywood so far. As a screenwriter, he was responsible for the original Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, and Spider-Man films. In addition to his writing and other credits, he's directed films including 2004's Secret Window, 2015's Mortdecai, and now, the new Blumhouse and Universal horror movie You Should Have Left. And Koepp thinks skipping theaters to go straight to digital video-on-demand platforms is a good thing for the movie industry.
"I see it as nothing but a strength, and I think Universal has been great with their ability to make movie premieres feel kind of exciting. I've watched every one of theirs that have come out," Koepp told GameSpot during an interview to promote You Should Have Left. "Last weekend King of Staten Island and Da Five Bloods both came out on Friday, and it felt like a Friday, you know? It felt like, 'Oh, new movies, I'm gonna watch them this weekend, and then I want to talk to people about them, because that's what we do.' So, I think it's great."
Here in the age of COVID-19, movie theaters remain closed and many films' release dates are being continuously pushed back. Christopher Nolan's next big blockbuster, Tenet, is the most recent victim, as Warner Bros. optimistically delayed it until July 31. The studio and some fans might argue that Tenet is the type of movie that should be viewed on the biggest screen and with the loudest speakers possible, but that's not the case for every film, and more and more distributors are choosing to skip theaters and go straight to digital platforms (much to theater chains' chagrin.)
You Should Have Left, which stars Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried as a couple who travel with their young daughter to an apparently haunted Airbnb in remote Wales, is the latest to go this route.
"This size movie, obviously, we're not a big budget movie. And we were just in those conversations about, 'OK, when are we going to be released? What's the calendar look like? How are we going to avoid, you know, all the behemoths that stock the multiplex?' And then this appeared as an option. And [producer] Jason [Blum] and I kind of thought at the same time, 'It's ideal for us.'
"I hope it becomes, not a replacement way of seeing the movies--we all want to go back to the movie theaters of course--but an additional way to see movies. Can we do this too? Because it would be really fun. So I'm thrilled that it's coming out this way. I can't think of a better way for this one."
Koepp said for You Should Have Left, he "wanted to make a scary movie set inside a marriage." It's based on the 2017 book of the same name by German author Daniel Kehlmann. While the marketing may make the film look like a haunted house story, it's really more of a haunted marriage movie.
"It's the story of a couple that is together that probably shouldn't be. He's 27 years older than she is. That ain't right. I wanted to examine the tensions and suspicions that linger in that relationship, and then take them and put them in a remote location where unusual things happen, and it seems like a pretty combustible thing," Koepp said. "My favorite movie of all time is Rosemary's Baby, so I love the idea that the person you're supposed to be able to trust the most is actually the one you should trust the least. And [in You Should Have Left] we're not sure which of them that applies to, or both, or neither. So hopefully the movie keeps us guessing a little bit."
You Should Have Left will be available on demand everywhere you rent or purchase movies digitally on June 19.
GameSpot has officially kicked off Play For All--a celebration of all things gaming. Join us as we bring you the summer's hottest news, previews, interviews, features, and videos, as well as raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and Black Lives Matter with the help of our friends from around the gaming world. Check out the Play For All schedule for more.
And speaking of things you should be watching, consider listening to GameSpot's weekly TV series and movies-focused podcast, You Should Be Watching. With new episodes premiering every Wednesday, you can watch a video version of the podcast over on GameSpot Universe or listen to audio versions on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and Apple Podcasts.