The Guilty Director Antoine Fuqua Is 'Adjusting' To The New Streaming World

Antoine Fuqua and Jake Gyllenhaal, who previously collaborated on "Southpaw," have a new movie, "The Guilty," hitting Netflix on Friday. It has a script by Nic Pizzolatto, the creator of "True Detective," and it's a remake of a Danish thriller, set exclusively in a 911 call center. Yet for some viewers, it may get lost in the sea of streaming titles.

This is the reality faced by many big-fish filmmakers as they find themselves in an even bigger online pond where movies and everything else gets reduced to content— "infinite content," which leaves us infinitely discontent, to paraphrase an Arcade Fire song. 

Our own Jack Giroux recently interviewed Fuqua and asked him how he felt about his movies being consigned to the small screen on streaming services like Paramount+ and Netflix. Fuqua's reply was diplomatic:

"I'm adjusting. I'm adjusting because that's the world we live in. Just like when I started out doing music videos and I started out doing commercials, the pacing changes. You just adjust as an artist. I still love the big screen, no doubt, but I also love the fact that you can go on streaming on Netflix and you can see it around the world immediately. They put it up on the big screen as well. I think we're at a place where we can get our cake and eat it, too. Netflix gives you the freedom to make the movie. They're filmmaker-friendly, that's what they do. If you can get it up on the big screen, even better. That'll help as well. I think we're in a place where we have to embrace it all, we do. When Jeffrey Katzenberg was doing Quibi, me and Jeffrey, we have to embrace it all. So that's how I feel about it."

On the Subject of Infinite Content

Speaking of things infinite, Fuqua also had a movie called "Infinite," starring Mark Wahlberg, this year. It went straight to Paramount+, which is ironic, given that it involves the concept of a "digital purgatory."

Do you have a Paramount+ subscription? Since I live outside the U.S., it's not an option for me, but I'm willing to bet that many people don't have time for it amid all the other streaming services.

I'm a fan of Fuqua's collaborations with Denzel Washington, everything from "Training Day" to "The Equalizer" to their "The Magnificent Seven" remake. However, I'll admit: I had to check Netflix before this to see if "The Guilty" was even out yet. I had seen something about it pop up on there recently, and as a viewer and casual scroller, I just assumed it was already sitting ready for me to watch at any time.

The original Danish film is only three years old, too, and I watched it earlier this year while on a single-location movie binge. So the prospect of revisiting the same story so soon didn't make "The Guilty" seem like a high-priority watch.

Welcome to the streaming world. Netflix pulled us into the Upside Down with "Stranger Things," but it and the pandemic have also pulled the entertainment industry into an Upside Down, not unlike that image we see of Wahlberg in the "Infinite" trailer. It's sad to think that people might not see the latest Joel Coen movie, for instance, just because they don't have an Apple TV+ subscription.

In the old days, a movie like "The Guilty" might have been more of an event where you went out to the theater to see it. The movie did have a limited release on September 24, 2021, but the vast majority of viewers will probably see it after it hits Netflix on October 1, 2021.