Denis Villeneuve Continues To Miss Point Of Dune’s HBO Max Release

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Dune is finally hitting theaters and HBO Max in October 2021, but director Denis Villeneuve has a problem with the streaming release plan.

Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation of Dune will finally make its way to audiences this fall, and despite the director’s issues with Warner Bros.’s HBO Max distribution arrangement, it’s the best option for the sci-fi blockbuster – as the pandemic is still hanging over it. legacy of this project. Frank Herbert’s famous dense sci-fi classic has already been brought from novel to film (most infamously, David Lynch’s film Dune in 1984), but contemporary sci-fi mainstay Villeneuve decided it was time to direct a remake around 2016. Having cut his teeth in similar large-scale projects like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve and company threw it all into a much-maligned production of equally delicate source material, ultimately opting to approach the novel in two halves. But an already complicated project quickly threw itself into another curve ball: the coronavirus pandemic.


As theaters shut down en masse during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, studios and distributors have had to make drastic decisions to help navigate devastating circumstances for the film industry. One of those decisions came from Warner Bros. which, after piloting a simultaneous output model with Wonder Woman 1984, has decided that the WB 2021 release slate will arrive on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters. With Dune already postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic, the news angered Villeneuve among others, who felt that their film experience and box office figures would be irreparably damaged by the unusual distribution method. Indeed, that of Villeneuve Dune appears to be designed for the theatrical experience – something Denis specifically cited in an interview with Total movie, saying, “It is a film that was made as a tribute to the experience on the big screen.“But his comments in the interview ignore an unfortunate reality of the pandemic era.

Related: Dune 2: Why Zendaya’s Chani Becomes A Main Character (Despite The Book)

Much has been done to regain a sense of normalcy in these unprecedented and continuing times. For some, the search for “normality” is a key element in the desire to return to the cinema. But for others, venturing into crowded social situations still poses a real and dangerous health risk. Studios, meanwhile, still have material to release and overhead to cut, and after months of delays from already delayed projects, the deal between Warners and HBO Max seemed as good a compromise as both sides could. hope. Those who prefer the theatrical experience would have the opportunity to participate in this way, at their own risk. And people who feel uncomfortable with this option, for one reason or another, had the option of staying home available to them. Granted, this is not traditional, nor does it satisfy the desire of filmmakers to preserve the rich community phenomenon of cinema – or the ability to harness cutting-edge audiovisual technology to the advantage of films – but our days, sacrifices are made and right. At least this compromise is relatively benign in the grand scheme of things.


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However, this feeling does not immediately erase the case of Villeneuve. Dune is an epic in every sense of the word. It has a star-studded cast, with Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Oscar Isaac at the head of the bill. The visual effects look massive in the trailer, rendered in immersive photorealism by DP Greig Fraser (Thief one) cinematography. Eric Roth co-wrote this adaptation – he himself is no stranger to adapting a sprawling grand narrative for the screen, having done so with the American Epic and winner for Best Picture in 1994. Forrest Gump. PI has an extensive genealogy, explored in depth by Movies with Mikey on his eponymous show on YouTube. Engaging with this juggernaut in any way except theatrical, naturally seems insufficient. As Denis put it in the aforementioned interview, “Frankly, to watch Dune on TV the best way to compare is to drive a speedboat in your tub. To me, this is ridiculous.

Perhaps Villeneuve suspects the motives of Warner Bros. to get out Dune in this way are not entirely for the sake of public health. If the studio has a bomb in their hands, WB may try to liquidate it quickly and / or quietly to reduce their losses – and it’s possible he may believe Dune be such a bomb. After all, the 1984 version flopped, and Denis’s previous release Blade Runner 2049 failed to recoup its box office budget, despite its critical glow. Whatever the reason, Villeneuve will continue to mourn the fate of Dune, as moviegoers around the world bemoan the compromises in their own lives during these tumultuous times.

Next: Dune’s Key Planets Explained: What Arrakis & Caladan Are

  • Dune (2021)Release date: 01 Oct 2021


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