‘Dune’ director reveals his biggest concern for the future of cinema


Denis Villenueve wasn’t happy when it was first revealed Dune was being sent to HBO Max the same day it came to theaters, with the filmmaker blasting Warner Bros. for a decision that could have killed his potential two-part sci-fi saga before the opening chapter had even been released.

As it turns out, he didn’t really have much to worry about, with Part Two officially being announced just days after the first half arrived, with Dune now closing in on a box office haul of $400 million. That makes it the second highest-grossing hybrid release of the year behind fellow WB stablemate Godzilla vs. Kong, but that doesn’t mean Villenueve’s fears are finished.

During a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy Award nominee revealed that his biggest concern for the future of cinema isn’t streaming itself, but rather the shortened window between movies hitting the big screen and being made available on demand.

“For me, it’s the lost equilibrium between streaming and the theatrical release. I love streaming. I think it’s a very strong tool to explore a story of cinema. But it’s important to protect a window for theatrical release, and that keeps me up at night.”

As a known admirer of Christopher Nolan, Villenueve would have been thrilled that part of the former’s deal with Universal to distribute Oppenheimer was 100-day theatrical exclusivity, something that’s going to become an increasing rarity moving forward, even for a blockbuster sequel like Dune: Part Two.