Clive Owen is a man as used to working in television as he is on the big screen, with hits across both media to his name. But the Sin City and The Knick actor’s latest film, Anon, straddles both. Premiering in the US on Netflix, it follows with a release on Sky in the UK, where it will also be shown in selected cinemas.
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol, the man behind acclaimed 1997 sci-fi Gattaca and the Oscar-nominated screenplay for 1998’s The Truman Show, Anon is a stark but stylish noirish dystopian thriller. The kind of film you might expect to see on the big screen, in fact.
Not unlike, perhaps, Duncan Jones’s recent Netflix release Mute and Alex Garland’s spectacular but pensive Annihilation, which secured a Netflix-only release in the UK. Anon, therefore, finds itself joining the growing ranks of big movies netting small-screen premieres. And also finds itself amongst a new wave of films courting controversy for that very reason.
But Owen believes Anon is better seen on the big screen. FANDOM spoke to Owen, who plays detective Sal Frieland in the film, and he had this to say:
“I watched [Anon] projected in the cinema and found this a very different experience. And it is a different experience, and it is the best way to see something that’s been made for the cinema.”
Times Are Changing
At the same time, however, he’s philosophical about the viewing revolution we’re currently in the midst of.
“We’re in a transitional time at the moment because people’s viewing habits have totally changed,” he said. “The way people watch things is very different. I think people are grappling with that and trying to sort that out.”
He added: “The reality is that lots of people want to watch it in different ways now and they want access to it in their own time, in their own way, in their own space. I think they’ve got work to do to sort that out — what a cinema release is — but I think it’s changing and we’ll be ever evolving for a little while.”
Writer-director Niccol, meanwhile, thinks the story is paramount. “I think it has to work as a story no matter what size the screen is. Whether it’s theatrical, a big cinema, or… I mean a lot of people have home theatres that are as good as your local multiplex. So, for me, it’s about does the story work or doesn’t it?”
Anon arrives on Netflix in the US on May 4 and hits UK screens on May 11.