With the intended December release date getting ever closer, it was about time Warner Bros. released the first official footage from Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and the trailer delivered exactly what fans of both the filmmaker and the source material were expecting. The promo featured no shortage of sweeping visuals, lavish production design and an epic sense of scope and scale, and the only major question is how the latest adaptation of the seminal novel will fare at the box office.
Even without the current circumstances to contend with, adult-orientated sci-fi is far from a sure thing, as Villenueve himself knows full well after watching his critically acclaimed sequel Blade Runner 2049 struggle to a disappointing global tally of $260 million, and based on what we’ve seen so far, Dune at least matches the $185 million budget of his last movie.
Dense mythology can often come across as impenetrable to the uninitiated depending on the quality of the script, and if audiences struggle to connect and keep track of what’s going on, then they’ll swiftly lose interest. In fact, Kyle MacLachlan recently admitted that he thought a faithful adaptation was almost impossible, and he knows better than most having starred in David Lynch’s 1984 version.
That being said, a Dune sequel is already in development with the upcoming blockbuster only set to cover the first half of the novel, and in a recent interview, Villenueve claimed that he’d need two movies at the very least to do justice to the story.
“The story is so rich and complex that, in order to be faithful to the book, we’ll need to make at least two movies. That was a deal right at the start.”
There are signs that the box office is on the up thanks to the success of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, but if it struggles to bring in the numbers that Warner Bros. are hoping for in the long run, then Dune could very well end up being delayed to 2021 in order to ensure it reaches the largest possible amount of paying customers. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that, though, as we’re beyond eager to see the film.