‘Dune 2’ director Denis Villeneuve says exclusive theatrical release “non-negotiable”

"I still think that contemporary movies need to have their chance"

Denis Villeneuve, the filmmaker behind Dune and its upcoming sequel, has said that an exclusive theatrical release for the second film was “a non-negotiable condition”.

Dune, which was released in cinemas on October 22, was one of Warner Bros’ slate of films to be simultaneously released on HBO Max on the same day.

Villeneuve wrote a searing essay for Variety upon learning the news, in which he said that there was “absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience” in Warner Bros’ decision.

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“It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth, one that is currently bearing an astronomical debt of more than $150 billion,” he wrote.

Now that the film’s sequel has officially been greenlit, Villeneuve has revealed some key details about the new deal with the studio, including an exclusive 45-day theatrical window.

“For me, it was a non-negotiable condition,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I love streaming. I use streaming all the time. But I still think that contemporary movies need to have their chance. All movies need to have proper time in theatres. The theatrical experience is at the very heart of the cinematic language for me.”

The filmmaker also teased that a second sequel could be in the works.

“If things go well with Part Two, I could foresee the idea of maybe doing … Dune Messiah. That would make sense to me,” he said.

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Dune: Part Two is set for release in October 2023.

Upon learning that the sequel was going ahead, Villeneuve said in a statement (via Deadline): “I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with Dune: Part Two.

“It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. This is only the beginning.”

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