Dakota Johnson is calling out Hollywood for being “afraid” to greenlight and distribute indie films.
The “Madame Web” actress and TeaTime producer told L’Officiel that she finds it “really fucking bleak” that executives, especially at streaming services, aren’t willing to to take a risk on smaller budget original movies.
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“We made a movie called ‘Daddio’ that was sold at Telluride to Sony Classics, which was amazing, but it took a lot of fighting to get that made,” Johnson said. “People are just so afraid, and I’m like, why? What’s going to happen if you do something brave? It just feels like nobody knows what to do and everyone’s afraid. That’s what it feels like. Everyone who makes decisions is afraid. They want to do the safe thing, and the safe thing is really boring.”
Johnson continued, “I am discovering that it’s really fucking bleak in this industry. It is majorly disheartening. The people who run streaming platforms don’t trust creative people or artists to know what’s going to work, and that is just going to make us implode. It’s really heartbreaking. It’s just fucking so hard. It’s so hard to get anything made. All of the stuff I’m interested in making is really different, and it’s unique and it’s very forward in whatever it is.”
The actress/producer teased an upcoming film (“a little movie”) that she is set to go into production on in early 2024, with her production banner TeaTime producing.
“It is about grief. It’s a tricky plot to outline, so I won’t even try, but it’s about a woman handling grief and how she does it in a specific way,” Johnson said. She previously partnered with writer/director/actor Cooper Raiff for “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and additionally produced films “Persuasion” and documentary “The Disappearance of Shere Hite.”
Johnson’s production company is behind upcoming features “Am I OK?” which premiered at Sundance 2023, “The End of Getting Lost” thriller adaptation starring Margaret Qualley and Paul Mescal, and biopic “Unfit” based on the nonfiction book “Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck.”
However, Johnson isn’t the only filmmaker bemoaning the state of the industry: Issa Rae recently addressed how “scared and clueless” studio executives are in this current era. Rae told Time magazine that she’s “never seen Hollywood this scared and clueless, and at the mercy of Wall Street,” adding, “I’m sorry, but there aren’t a lot of smart executives anymore. And a lot of them have aged out and are holding on to their positions and refusing to let young blood get in.”
Rae continued, “Now these conglomerate leaders are also making the decisions about Hollywood. Y’all aren’t creative people. Stick to the money. The people that are taking chances are on platforms like TikTok: that’s what’s getting the eyeballs of the youth. So you’re killing your own industry.”
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