John Landis blames “pathetic state” of Hollywood on streaming, COVID-19, and strikes

Veteran director John Landis, known for films like “Animal House” and “Coming To America,” recently aired his views on the present and future outlook of the Hollywood industry – and all signs suggest he isn’t feeling optimistic. In an interview reported by IndieWire (via Deadline), Landis lamented the “pathetic state” of Tinseltown. In his view, the industry is muddled in chaos, a situation exacerbated by the ongoing WGA writers’ strike and the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on movie theaters.

Voicing his worries, Landis stated bluntly, “the film industry is in chaos,” during a conversation at the Taormina Film Festival. His main concern is unity amongst the Guilds – the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild, and the IA, mainly because the writers are striking for better wages, and potential rumblings of strikes from the Screen Actors Guild.

Aside from the strife within the Guilds, Landis points out another issue, the rise of streaming platforms. According to the director, this development has been like a “stake through the heart” which continues to hamper the business. He insists that films are meant for the big screen, experienced in a community. Streaming platforms, he argues, strips away this vital factor and leads to fewer people visiting cinemas.

Despite the bleak picture he paints, Landis remains active. He admits that the continuing writers’ strike has created a limbo-like atmosphere with many projects in suspension. However, Landis himself is eager to get back to work on two feature films and a TV series he has in development. Currently, he is busy with an upcoming Broadway production. But with a writers’ strike still in motion and a potential SAG strike looming, currently, it’s uncertain when Landis will return to the director’s chair. However, fans of his work should stay tuned for updates.

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