Dune Director Says It Is Designed To Be Seen On IMAX

Oscar Isaac Dune

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was hit particularly hard by COVID. The original plan was for it to hit theaters in November 2020, but with lockdowns still in effect and the virus spreading unabated, Warner Bros pushed it back almost an entire year to October 2021 and confirmed that it’d join the rest of their slate with a simultaneous premiere on HBO Max.

Villeneuve wasn’t happy about this, writing a column in Variety saying that the decision showed “absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience” and that AT&T is concerned about their “astronomical debt”.

He’s softened a little now, though is still adamant that Dune needs to be seen on the biggest possible screen with an earth-shaking sound system. In an interview with Deadline, he said:

“It has been dreamed, designed, and shot thinking about IMAX. When you watch this movie on the big screen, it’s almost a physical experience. We designed the movie to be as immersive as possible, and for me, the big screen is part of the language.”

The success of Shang-Chi indicates that life is returning to the theatrical box office, meaning that Warner Bros may be reconsidering their plans for their big upcoming hits to get same-day VOD releases.

It’s also especially important that Dune does well financially as this is merely the first half of Frank Herbert’s book with a follow-up contingent on this making money. Villeneuve’s reasoning was that the story shouldn’t be compressed into a single movie:

“I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie. The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”

Fortunately, it’s looking like the quality of the movie won’t be an issue as critics who saw it in Venice gave it almost universal praise and the screening received a seven-minute standing ovation. The only common criticism was that it’s obviously the first half of a story, so fingers crossed it’s a hit and Part 2 is greenlit ASAP.

I can’t wait. Dune hits theaters in just over a month on October 22. Be there.