Jones joined Sarah Gavron at Mark Kermode’s Live in 3D event at the BFI in London.
Warcraft director Duncan Jones has said that he hopes his next project - the futuristic sci-fi Mute [pictured] which has been produced and financed by Netflix - will get a theatrical run, but has also admitted that the streaming giant is free to distribute “how they see fit”.
Speaking at Mark Kermode’s Live in 3D show at London’s BFI last night (June 19) after a screening of Warcraft, Jones said: “I envisioned the film would be released in cinemas, but I can’t complain as I have been trying to make this film for 15 years [before his 2009 film Moon].”
“For Netflix to get the film off the ground is a wonderful thing,” he added about the online giant which made waves at Cannes last month.
Netflix’s adventure-drama Okja and its war satire War Machine will both receive limited theatrical runs in the US and UK but the former has fallen out of favour with exhibitor’s in Korea where it was due to have a wide release.
Jones explained that the working relationship with Netflix gave him a high level of creative freedom on Mute, but also emphasised that the company is free to choose its own distribution methods.
“I get final cut, and they release the film how they see fit,” he said, adding that he was “ok with streaming”.
He did add, however, that he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of the film being watched on mobile phones, which Netflix (and other digital services) facilitates. “[People who want to watch films on phones] can go fuck themselves, I’m not ready for that,” he joked.
Discussing Mute, which is set in a futuristic Berlin and boasts an all-star cast including Paul Rudd, Noel Clarke, Alexander Skarsgard, Justin Theroux and Sam Rockwell, Jones said that he believes that the film could be divisive: “You’ll either love it or hate it - it’s sick, scary and a little bit twisted.”
He added that he sees the film as the second in a trilogy, with Moon as the first and the third not yet made.
Reflecting on Warcraft, his big-budget sci-fi that bombed in the US but was a huge hit in China, Jones commented: “When I made it, I asked myself, ‘Will you treat the fantasy audience like idiots or like proper fantasy fans? It’s a tricky balancing act – I just assumed people love sci-fi films, and [so I] went for it.”
A firm release date for Mute has not been revealed, but Jones said he expects it to be out by the end of this year.
Suffragette director Sarah Gavron was also a guest at Mark Kermode’s monthly event last night.
Gavron, who presented John Hughes’ 1980s classic The Breakfast Club as the ‘Guilty Pleasure’ pick of the evening, said that her next film will follow a group of teenage girls.
Her research to date has included observing student behaviour at various schools.
“It is fascinating, and sometimes surprising, to watch their interactions,” said Gavron.
“I am passionate about women, and their plights and successes,” added the filmmaker who has received Bafta and Bifa film nominations for This Little Life and Brick Lane.
She did not disclose production details, but said the film is in pre-production and is not yet titled.