Kyle MacLachlan has said it’s “disheartening” that Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited film Dune will be streamed alongside a cinema release.
Last year, Villeneuve hit out at Warner Bros for shifting the release of Dune so that it will simultaneously stream on HBO Max and open in cinemas on the same day.
Warner Bros announced that it will provide the simultaneous release for all of its 2021 movies, in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s severe impact on the stability of the traditional cinema-first release model.
MacLachlan, who starred in the 1984 version of the film directed by David Lynch, said Villeneuve’s adaptation was designed for the “big screen.”
Speaking to The Seattle Times, MacLachlan said: “I’m excited to see it…It’s one of my [favourite] books and I look forward to seeing what the director Villeneuve does with it.”
He added: “I think the simultaneous release is kind of the wave of the future…It’s disheartening though because a movie like that is meant to be seen on the large screen.”
In an essay for Variety last December, Villeneuve director hit out at the decision from Warner Bros saying it showed there was “absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience.”
“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.
“Therefore, even though ‘Dune’ is about cinema and audiences, AT&T is about its own survival on Wall Street. With HBO Max’s launch a failure thus far, AT&T decided to sacrifice Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate in a desperate attempt to grab the audience’s attention.”
He continued: “Warner Bros.’ sudden reversal from being a legacy home for filmmakers to the new era of complete disregard draws a clear line for me. Filmmaking is a collaboration, reliant on the mutual trust of team work and Warner Bros. has declared they are no longer on the same team.”
Villeneuve went on to explain that he was supportive of Warner Bros’ decision to push back the Dune release date until October 2021, but now fears that the move to HBO Max will directly impact the film’s chances of success.
“Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of ‘Dune”s scope and scale,” he added.
Christopher Nolan also criticised the decision last year. In an interview with ET, the Tenet writer and director called the move “very, very, very, very messy”, aiming his criticism at the apparent suddenness of the announcement.
“There’s such controversy around it because they didn’t tell anyone,” he said. “In 2021, they’ve got some of the top filmmakers in the world, they’ve got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences.”