Denis Villeneuve’s film Dune has been reported as being part one of two films in a series. For anyone aware of the Dune controversy this past year, this is not a surprise. Denis Villeneuve has consistently stated that the Dune film is not a complete telling of Frank Herbert’s book. Notoriously long, Villeneuve not wanting to cram 500 pages of story into one film makes sense. Now reportedly when the titles roll, audiences will see that the title of the film is Dune Part One.
Denis Villeneuve has had experience in the sci-fi world. He directed critical successes such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. Dune seems to be his dream film to work on. The news that Dune would have a hybrid release was met with criticism from the filmmaker. Titling the film Dune Part One is a clear stance on the matter. This movie is only the first half of the book and requires a second film to complete.
HBO Max Controversy
Dune had been delayed since the impact of the pandemic. Many films suffered because of theaters closing. However, Denis Villeneuve has been consistently outspoken on the matter. Many films have been released on streaming instead of risking a theater release. More recently, films like Suicide Squad and Halloween Kills have had a hybrid release. This has resulted in varying successes. Halloween Kills had an impressive box office opening, despite the fact that it was streaming on Peacock simultaneously.
Warner Brothers’ deal with HBO Max resulted in many films going to streaming as well as theaters. Creators from other brands were also under the impression it would be a strict theater release. Denis Villeneuve insists that Dune is best seen on a big screen. With images of the sandworm and impressive landscapes, it’s hard to disagree with that statement. More than that, actors are concerned that they will not be able to return if Dune does poorly at the box office.
Even so, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has stated that the decision for a sequel would not be solely dependent on box office numbers. One can only hope that audiences will still show up to the theater for this sci-fi epic. Dune is available to stream on HBO Max and hits theaters tonight at 6 PM ET.