Ever since Warner Bros has announced that it will be releasing its entire slate of 17 upcoming films in 2021 simultaneously on its streaming platform HBO Max along with their theatrical release, filmmakers and actors have made their displeasure known publicly. After Christopher Nolan openly called HBO Max the worst streaming service ever, Dune director Denis Villeneuve also has aired his opposition to the decision that, according to him, is doing a massive injustice to the “best movie” he has ever made. And if you ask the film’s actors Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa, he is absolutely right.
In a passionate article for Variety, Villeneuve put forward his raging thoughts on the digital release of Dune. He believes that it’s worldwide theatrical release would have allowed it to be the film that will kickstart a successful franchise based on Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi series but its streaming debut on the same day will kill all the potential it has.
“I learned in the news that Warner Bros. has decided to release Dune on HBO Max at the same time as our theatrical release, using prominent images from our movie to promote their streaming service,” Villeneuve wrote. “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. 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.”
“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 theatres. I strongly believe the future of cinema will be on the big screen, no matter what any Wall Street dilettante says,” he added.
If you have seen the trailer of Dune, you will find yourself nodding along to the director’s claim as a film with a scale as mammoth as this Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, and Josh Brolin starrer does need a complete theatrical release to do justice to the hard work that brought it to life.
“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,” Villeneuve explained.
Soon after the article came out, Dune star Josh Brolin extended his support to Villeneuve and simply seconded what is, hands down, an unarguable truth. “Long live the theater experience!!!” Brolin wrote on Instagram, followed by Jason Momoa reposting his post to express his solidarity against the film’s HBO Max release.