Benedict Cumberbatch has called out Netflix for its “shallow” cinematic release of “The Power of the Dog.”
The 45-year-old actor stars alongside Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smith-McPhee in the western psychological drama and was unimpressed that it was only screened in cinemas for two weeks before being released. available on the streaming service.
He said: “If I’m in the belly of the beast, then surely I can start asking him questions.
“The key question is, why did Netflix give the movie such a cursory run in theaters.”
The ‘Sherlock’ star then spoke directly to bosses at the streaming giant, wondering if the limited theatrical release was due to financial reasons.
He told Vanity Fair magazine: “It’s for Scott [Stuber] and Ted [Sarandos] and everyone running Netflix: couldn’t you afford a longer theatrical release? Maybe not. I do not know. I’m positioning this as a question publicly in Vanity Fair. I haven’t really had that conversation with them, but I will and I will.
“Unless you have a Marvel star, financing a movie is very, very, very, very difficult, no matter how important the story, no matter how urgent, no matter how talented, how rewarding and the artist’s appreciation.
In ‘The Power of the Dog’, Benedict – who is married to theater manager Sophie Hunter and has six-year-old Christopher, four-year-old Hal and three-year-old Finn with her – plays gated rancher Phil Burbank, who develops a bad streak when her brother marries a widow and she brings her effeminate son to live with them in 1920s Montana.
Benedict – who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film – also explained that despite being a straight man, his lived experience is not completely different from that of his character.
He said: “While my lived experience is far removed from Phil Burbank’s, that doesn’t mean everything is. I don’t want to sound defensive because I’m not. It comes from a cultural questioning of appropriation, and that’s something that I support a lot as a producer and an actor.”