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While “Wonder Woman 1984” was the first major Warner Bros. feature to be released in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day, the first 2021 movie to get that hybrid release treatment is “The Little Things,” a crime thriller starring a cast of Oscar winners.
Denzel Washington plays a grizzled ex-LAPD detective who becomes embroiled in the hunt for a serial killer that goes terribly wrong and forces him into exile. Later, while reuniting with his old work buddies, he meets a new detective (Rami Malek) who’s working on a case with more than a few similarities to his old one. Their ambition starts to take over as they pursue their suspect (Jared Leto).
If you want to watch the film from the comfort of your own couch, then you’ll want to subscribe to HBO Max for just $14.99 per month. Currently, however, the still-new streaming service is running a promotion that will save you a solid $20, which is 20% off the normal rate, if you pre-pay for six months in advance for just $69.99. Just make sure to do it soon, because the film will only be available on HBO Max for a month following its release date.
Director and writer John Lee Hancock, who wrote the script nearly three decades, told IndieWire that although the logline sounds just like plenty of other cop thrillers from over the years, this one is anything but formulaic.
“It was subverting a genre,” he said. “It seemed that all psychological thrillers, serial killer movies, and crime dramas had two interesting parts followed by a third with twists and misdirections. In the third act, you identify who the bad guy is and face off with him, usually in an action sequence, and the good guy dispatches the bad guy in a grisly way.”
No, that’s not how “The Little Things” plays out. But you’ll have to watch to find out just how the story ends.
Although “The Little Things” is getting an unconventional release, it is actually coming out on its original release date — it’s just not what Hancock and his stars originally expected. And it’s not something they had much time to process, considering they found out just 30 minutes before the news broke. Ultimately, after some legal teams were consulted, concerns were appeased — and everyone understood the extenuating circumstances that inspired the bold release model to begin with.
“The rules of the game have changed,” producer Mark Johnson told IndieWire. “It’s what we had to do. Everybody has been made happy.”
HBO Max subscribers will be able to stream “The Little Things” — plus every other Warner Bros. theatrical release in 2021 — for a month after the original release date. And although there is only currently one tier of service, the company plans to introduce an ad-supported subscription option in the future, likely during the second quarter of 2021.
A sizzle reel released at the time of the investor call includes sneak peeks at some films coming to HBO Max in 2021, including the “Sopranos” prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark” on Sept. 24, James Wan horror film “Malignant” on Sept. 10, plus the as-yet-undated third “Conjuring” movie “The Devil Made Me Do It,” Clint Eastwood’s “Cry Macho,” Will Smith in “King Richard,” and Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.” Other films headed to the service include “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “The Matrix 4,” and many more.