There’s a famous saying – “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” If you’re a Dune fan, it’s starting to feel like that lately. Over the past months, there was so much uncertainty and stress about the highly anticipated movie’s release. Streaming? Theaters? HBO/WB was still trying to navigate a COVID-world, and Dune was one of the first casualties. But we got through it! And got a shiny release date. News and promo images for the movie have been trickling out as we approach that release date.
The latest issue of the British magazine Total Film has 20 pages of exclusive Dune content in prep for the Dune premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. The cover, as seen below, looks pretty stinking cool.
Twenty pages of exclusive movie content should be amazing, right? Not so fast as it comes with a healthy dose of pain and hand wringing for Dune fans as Dune director Dennis Villeneuve, known for Blade Runner 2049 and is also set to tackle Cleopatra in the next few years, told Total Film that a second Dune movie will only happen if the first one does well at the box office. When Villeneuve was announced as helming the project, fans were cautiously excited because of the fantastic jobs with his other films. And as the trailers, teasers, and posters came out, that excitement built.
According to Villeneuve in this recent Total Film interview:
There’s no such thing as Dune 1 and Dune 2. It’s Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two.
We have been hearing in the past few decades that it’s not possible to adapt this book, and that it’s an impossible task. I think that in the back of the mind of the studio, it’s still the same!
So the first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that – everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project. They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a Dune: Part Two, because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I’m very optimistic.
Logically, two parts make sense, given how complicated and rich the desert world of Arrakis is. The original David Lynch film Dune from 1984 was about 2 hours and was considered long. And Lynch’s Director’s cut was over 3 hours long. Trying to cram so much story into a standard small running time while still hitting the emotional beats and plot points is really hard to do. The book itself for the beloved sci-fi epic clocks in at about 412 pages. (I’m sure book TikTok is practically salivating at all the videos they can make with the thick re-skinned release of the novel. )
Given all of that, it sucks that a second Dune film isn’t a lock. The rich story is there for the taking. Making Dune: Part One is a promise to fans who’ve stuck with the world of Paul Atreides and the arduous space spice wars. And in this interview, Villeneuve is hinting he might not be able to deliver on this fan promise because of things out of his control.
It’s giving me stomach-roiling memories of all the things that were canceled before they really hit their groove. (Here’s looking at you, Netflix, and the shows canceled without a freaking satisfying ending.) So if you’re a fan or you just like hopping on giant sandworm pulled bandwagons, what can you do about it? The simple solution – vote with your eyeballs. Watch it because the spice must flow.
Dune is supposed to be out in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22, 2021. As with every other theatrical release recently, things will probably be a little bit wonky due to the pandemic and concerns over local variants and surges. Don’t let the pandemic be the excuse that’s used for no Part Two. Go see it with your mask/oversized vaccine card/pet chicken…whatever. Talk about it.
If you don’t, you might have to wait another 37 years until someone pries loose the IP rights from Legendary Entertainment. By then, an elderly Tom Holland and Timothée Chalamet will probably be up against each other for the Oscar for their holographic portrayal of Batman…or something.
Source: GamesRadar/Total Film