May 1, 2005 LOS ANGELES - We know he can direct. Now Steven Soderbergh wants to change the movie industry itself. The Oscar-winning director has formed a partnership with 2929 Entertainment to direct six films that would debut simultaneously in movie theaters and on DVD, pay-per-view cable and satellite television.
Soderbergh will have creative control over the films, which will be produced in high-definition format through 2929's HDNet Films.
"From a consumer standpoint, it's about choice," 2929 partner Todd Wagner said. "We're letting people decide, for the first time, if they want to go out or stay home when a movie debuts."
The first film, "Bubble," a murder mystery set in a small Ohio town, is currently in production. Soderbergh's credits include "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich."
Some theater operators have expressed concerns that such wide-scale distribution could lead to declining box office sales, but Soderbergh said the industry must move forward.
"Economically, the film business in general is using a model that is outdated and, worse than that, inefficient," he said. "It's worth finding out if this is going to work better."