Dune Director Denis Villenueve Speaks Out Against WB’s HBO Max 2021 Plans
Following Christopher Nolan’s reaction towards WarnerMedia’s explosive HBO Max 2021 announcement, Dune director Denis Villenueve has now spoken out against Warner Bros.’ controversial decision. In an op-ed written for Variety, Villenueve has described the decision as a betrayal towards cinema, with the company sacrificing the moviegoing experience in a desperate attempt to earn subscribers for the streaming service.
“With this decision, AT&T has hijacked one of the most respectable and important studios in film history. There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here. It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth, one that is currently bearing an astronomical debt of more than $150 billion,” Villeneuve wrote. “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 teamwork and Warner Bros. has declared they are no longer on the same team.”
He continued, “Streaming services are a positive and powerful addition to the movie and TV ecosystems. But I want the audience to understand that streaming alone can’t sustain the film industry as we knew it before COVID. Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of “Dune’s” scope and scale. Warner Bros.’ decision means “Dune” won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph. Warner Bros. might just have killed the “Dune” franchise. This one is for the fans. AT&T’s John Stankey said that the streaming horse left the barn. In truth, the horse left the barn for the slaughterhouse.”
He also went on to stress that he along with a devoted creative team had created Dune be viewed in the theaters.
“Dune is by far the best movie I’ve ever made. My team and I devoted more than three years of our lives to make it a unique big screen experience. Our movie’s image and sound were meticulously designed to be seen in theaters. I’m speaking on my own behalf, though I stand in solidarity with the sixteen other filmmakers who now face the same fate. Please know I am with you and that together we are strong. The artists are the ones who create movies and series.”
A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, the Dune movie tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence — a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential — only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
The star-studded cast includes Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible — Fallout), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame), Stellan Skarsgård (Thor: The Dark World), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Chang Chen (Love And Destiny), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Sex Education), with Charlotte Rampling (The Night