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Rise of Netflix and HBO may lure Michael Douglas back to TV


Michael Douglas on stage in London for a conversation with Jonathan Ross

Michael Douglas on stage in London for a conversation with Jonathan Ross

Michael Douglas on stage in London for a conversation with Jonathan Ross

Michael Douglas has revealed that he is considering starring in a television series because new online outlets such as Netflix offer better opportunities for him than the film industry.

The 72-year-old Hollywood actor said there were a "limited" number of his kind of movies being made, and was contemplating making a return to the small screen.

Douglas, who was speaking at one-off evening in conversation with Jonathan Ross at London's Drury Lane Theatre on Sunday, said he had "never, never" thought he would return to television but was now "considering looking at a series".

The actor made his name on the TV show The Streets Of San Francisco but quit to move into the film industry where he won Oscars for both his acting and producing.

He told the sold-out audience he did not believe his career would "come full circle" but said: "The quality of the work going on in television now and the limited number of my kind of movies that I made in the 70s and the 80s that are so difficult to do now, but when I do them I get paid nothing, and the minimalist, tiny audience in the theatrical area.

"Whereas in the streaming or this independent Netflix or HBO ... it's a real opportunity to do good work."

In a wide-ranging interview with Ross at the theatre where his wife, Catherine Zeta Jones, 47, had her big break while acting in 42nd Street as a teenager, Douglas also spoke about how he had hoped nuclear disarmament would happen in his lifetime.

Douglas said filming the 1979 thriller China Syndrome prompted him to have "an epiphany" about the weapons.

"That picture has had an amazing personal effect on me because when that movie came out ... it was 10 days later that Three Mile Island happened.

"That has now become my lifelong cause which is eliminating nuclear weapons. It was something I really hoped in my lifetime would happen."

The father-of-three also told the audience of his frustration that his Gordon Gekko character in the 1987 film Wall Street had inspired people to go into banking.

In the film, Douglas made famous the line "greed is good" as the corporate raider.

He said throughout his career whenever he played "not necessarily nice people", audiences still loved the character, and that Gordon Gekko was the "weirdest phenomenon" he had ever seen.

Douglas explained how London and Wall Street bankers say to him: "Hey, you're the man, you're the reason I got into this business."

The actor continued: "I say 'I don't know if you saw the same movie I did, I went to jail'. But they just go 'nahh'.

"They are just so seduced by the suits, the money."

During the An Evening with Michael Douglas event, Ross played a short clip of Douglas's father, Kirk, talking about his son.

The 99-year-old actor and producer said his son was a "good boy" and that the audience were "lucky" to have him on stage.