Morgan Freeman Film to Debut on Film and Web at Same Time

Posted on February 7, 2006

The USA Today reports that Morgan Freeman's ClickStar company is working on a movie called 10 Items or Less starring Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega. USA Today says Brad Siberling (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) is the director and Intel is putting up some of the funding for the movie. The most interesting aspect of the film is that it will debut in theatres and on the Internet as a download all on the same day.

So imagine the tempest ClickStar will brew. Its 10 Items or Less will be a major-league movie exactly the kind that would normally lure consumers to theaters its opening weekend. Except no one will have to go to a theater to see it or even drive to a Wal-Mart to buy the DVD. You could start watching it on your Internet-connected HDTV -- which, OK, you're not likely to own now but probably will in coming years -- within 30 seconds after clicking "buy" on the ClickStar site.

The movie industry makes almost all its money from theater tickets and DVD sales, and basically no money from Internet sales. So ClickStar scares Hollywood. That's why Freeman is doing it.

"This kid came up with Napster, and before that, none of us thought of content protection," Freeman says. Hollywood has a window of time to find a way to avoid getting Napstered. Pirates haven't yet succeeded in stealing movies on the scale they steal songs, because movies are such huge files. But that barrier will fall. Then the only way to get ahead of the Napstering, Morgan believes, is for the movie industry to create its own, superior marketplace first, before file-sharing of pirated movies takes hold.

Freeman's company is likely where the future of movies is headed. Movie studios and television networks have been losing control of when people watch their content ever since video tapes were created.