Dune streak may depend on success on HBO Max

Yet another episode of the fight between director Denis Villeneuve and streaming services could be detonated if the as-yet-unconfirmed information being aired in the US press is real. That’s because the sequel to Duna, which has been taken for granted by the filmmaker, who claims to have imagined its adaptation as a film duo, may not yet have been approved by Warner, who waits to see the influx of new HBO Max subscribers at launch before giving the green light to production.

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The metric would be one of the most important for this, which is one of the biggest releases of the year for the distributor. It’s a feature that cost the company US$ million and has already been postponed three times amid the covid pandemic-22; now, the release forecast seems to be concrete for the day 22 of October, in an arrival that happens so much in movie theaters — cited by Villeneuve as the ideal spot to watch the movie — as well as on HBO Max.

The sources linked to Warner did not wish to identify themselves, but indicate that the production company Legendary Entertainment was willing to postpone the film yet again to secure a big-screen debut. She also considered suing Warner for being sidelined from the deal between Villeneuve and other parties that called for the simultaneous launch; the filmmaker himself would have been one of the voices against a new delay in the release, in a contractual agreement that would have been finalized only in mid-August, days before the premiere of Duna at the Festival of Venice.

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One of the reasons for this would be Warner’s agreement to pay box office-related bonuses even with a streaming release, something that was no longer guaranteed if the decision for an exclusive release were made. The fear of past box office failures, as well as the long duration, with 2h35, as well as the competition with other popular features in the resumption, caused that those involved would prefer to accept the streaming in exchange for financial benefits.

However, this same factor also takes us to the beginning of the story, with a sequence of Duna not yet confirmed. Again, we point to an expensive and complex feature, with big names in Hollywood like Zendaya (Spider-Man: No Return Home), Jason Momoa ( Aquaman), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars) and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) serving to attract the public, but also generate very high bills. The sources claim that other terms of the contract may be linked to doubts about the sequel, while Warner herself would welcome this possibility.

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  • Other shorter features, which were also part of the distributor’s release plan simultaneously on HBO Max, there would also be sequences under discussion, as is the case of The Suicide Squad and Mortal Kombat. There is nothing confirmed for them either, but the idea may represent that, if smaller productions were successful to the point of having continuations under study, the same should also happen with the space epic.

    The news comes to further heighten the fears of fans after a speech by Chalamet himself, who, on the red carpet in Venice, said that working on a sequel to Duna would be a dream. Meanwhile, at the same event, Villeneuve made statements stating that he considers a continuation for granted. The future will ultimately tell, as neither the filmmaker, Legendary nor Warner have commented directly on the allegations aired in the international press.

    Source: Variety

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