Dune director Denis Villeneuve on HBO Max and sequel: 'It's a crazy way to do things'

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In Dune Part 1 (2021 edition) Denis Villeneuve directed Timothée Chalamet.

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Denis Villeneuve should have a ball now. he just made Dune, the biggest film of his career, adapting a classic science-fiction novel that he loved throughout his life. But he is not enjoying it: Director still unhappy that Dune will stream on HBO Max, he only has to do half the story, and he is fully aware that the proposed sequel/continuity hangs in the balance.


“It’s a very strange situation that I’m in right now,” Villeneuve said in a Zoom call with the press at the Venice Film Festival. Dune premiered on September 3. “It’s true that I did just half of a film. That’s the way of doing things… It’s like doing half of a painting or half of a symphony and saying, Wait, everybody, we’ll be in two years. Will continue… but those movies are too expensive to make, and I agree to deal with doing the first part. It’s a gamble.”

The film is Only Dune Part 1, and Part 2 has yet to be definitively confirmed by Warner Bros., the film studio that financed it. which is particularly disappointing, because although Villeneuve’s dune is a Exciting and surprising sci-fi epic on a grand scale It certainly does not stand alone. The film ends abruptly, making it halfway through the story of Frank Herbert’s original novel. The box office performance of Part 1 should be strong enough to justify Part 2, but the worry of the pandemic and the option to stream the film at home may dampen the hopes of the sequel.

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Dune is set to open in theaters and stream on HBO Max on October 22. It is the latest in a series of blockbusters to appear on the streaming service at the same time as the big screen, much to the dismay of filmmakers. Principle Director Christopher Nolan. When film studio Warner Bros. first revealed its plans to release the year’s blockbuster online, Villeneuve went so far as to write an article Diversity Destroying Warner Bros., HBO Max and their parent company AT&T.

Dune was delayed by a year from its original 2020 release date, but the pandemic continues as the Delta version disrupts worldwide reopening plans. Yet Villeneuve has stuck to his insistence that the film should be seen on the big screen. “Films need to be experienced in theaters first,” he said in Venice.

“I love streaming,” the director quickly clarified. “Streaming is a very powerful tool. I use it all the time to re-watch cinema history. It gives me access to a lot of great movies from the past – but we’re talking about the present.”


The starry dune is filled with fascinating images on a vast scale.

Talking about films from the past, the 53-year-old French-Canadian writer and director said that when David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation came out, he was at first as a Dune-obsessed teenager.

“I remember being charmed at the beginning of it,” Villeneuve recalled.

But as the film progressed, Villeneuve felt disillusioned with some of Lynch’s choices (or perhaps more accurately, the choices made by producer Dino De Laurentiis, who reworked and significantly shortened the film for release). ).

“Lynch is a master,” said Villeneuve, “one of the best filmmakers of all time in the last 50 years. It’s not about comparison or competition. It’s just about the book that’s been in my bed for 40 years.” I had, and the ideas I love about the book weren’t on screen yet, so I came back to it.”

So even though Villeneuve’s film-making experience is beset with headaches, he can take comfort from producing a magisterial sci-fi epic. “I was trying to get in touch with the energy I had when I was 13 or 14,” he said, undoubtedly speaking to the many science-fiction and fantasy obsessives who have loved Dune and other sci-fi galaxies. Discovered in its formative years. “That very ambitious, very proud teenager who wanted to conquer the world and had such a big dream. I wanted to get in touch with the philosophy of the time.”

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