In the streaming world, there are destined to be winners and losers. They can’t all be Netflix, after all. In 2016, Turner Classic Movies launched its own streaming service, FilmStruck, to be the streaming home of rare, classic, foreign, arthouse, and independent cinema. FilmStruck seemed like it could carve out a market for itself when it became the only streaming service to offer the Criterion Collection films, but alas, Warner Media, the parent company of TCM, is shutting FilmStruck down.
WarnerMedia is planning its own dedicated streaming package sometime in the future, and it’s believed that the company is shutting down FilmStruck in order not to cannibalize its own market. However, things may be looking up for the beleaguered streaming service now that a huge slew of A-list actors and directors have signed an open letter petitioning Warner Media to save FilmStruck. The list of Hollywood figures who signed the letter include Paul Thomas Anderson, James Brolin, Guillermo Del Toro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Hader, Rian Johnson, Christopher Nolan, Barbra Streisand, Edgar Wright, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and many others.
According to the letter, these actors and directors believe the streaming services is one of the only outlets for the best films that cinema has to offer. Without it, they argue, there is nothing else on the streaming market capable of inspiring the next generation of filmmakers and cinema buffs.
“We know one of the reasons that it has been shut down is because of an upcoming Warners streaming service, but really FilmStruck shouldn’t be a conflict of interest,” the letter reads. “In this day and age where there are dozens of platforms, curation of content is really important and FilmStruck was providing a service to both satisfy older fans of cinema and a younger generation of cineastes that will be making amazing movies long after we’re dead.”
WarnerMedia has yet to respond to the letter. FilmStruck is scheduled to cease service later this month on November 29th.