The director has lost all hope for a Dune franchise and remarked that streaming cannot possibly sustain a $175 million blockbuster like theaters can
Warner Bros' decision to simultaneously release its entire 2021 slate of films on HBO Max along with theatres has sparked disapproval from filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve and others.
Directors and theatre owners have taken offense to not being consulted beforehand by the producing studio with regard to films being sent directly to streaming.
In a Variety op/ed, Villenueve explained that Waner Bros’ move to HBO Max not only showed a blatant disregard to the collaborative process of filmmaking but also “might just have killed the Dune franchise”.
“With this decision, AT&T has hijacked one of the most respectable and important studios in film history. There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here. It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth, one that is currently bearing an astronomical debt of more than $150 billion. Therefore, even though Dune is about cinema and audiences, AT&T is about its own survival on Wall Street. With HBO Max’s launch a failure thus far, AT&T decided to sacrifice Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate in a desperate attempt to grab the audience’s attention,” Villeneuve wrote.
“Warner Bros.’ sudden reversal from being a legacy home for filmmakers to the new era of complete disregard draws a clear line for me,” he continued. “Filmmaking is a collaboration, reliant on the mutual trust of teamwork and Warner Bros has declared they are no longer on the same team.”
The director has lost all hope for a Dune franchise and remarked that streaming cannot possibly sustain a $175 million blockbuster like theaters can. He doesn’t think that “Dune franchise is even possible anymore.”
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“But I want the audience to understand that streaming alone can’t sustain the film industry as we knew it before COVID. Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of Dune’s scope and scale. Warner Bros.’ decision means Dune won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph. Warner Bros might just have killed the ‘Dune’ franchise. This one is for the fans. AT&T’s John Stankey said that the streaming horse left the barn. In truth, the horse left the barn for the slaughterhouse,” the director added.
Dune is slated for release in theaters and HBO Max on October 21, 2021.