Dune and Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is joining the long list of filmmakers who are not happy with the on-going drama concerning AT&T’s bold decision last week that all of Warner Bros’ films from 2021 would debut on HBO Max at the same time as premiering in theaters.
In an article penned for Variety, Villeneuve held nothing back when blasting the media giant and letting his feelings known about this HBO Max deal.
“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,” says Villeneuve.
“Warner Bros.’ sudden reversal from being a legacy home for filmmakers to the new era of complete disregard draws a clear line for me,” he continues. “Filmmaking is a collaboration, reliant on the mutual trust of teamwork, and Warner Bros. has declared they are no longer on the same team.”
Though, he does end his tirade with a bit more of a positive tone, saying, “I strongly believe the future of cinema will be on the big screen, no matter what any Wall Street dilettante says. Since the dawn of time, humans have deeply needed communal storytelling experiences… Long live theatrical cinema!”
Villeneuve’s last film from Warner Bros, Blade Runner 2049, was considered a box-office flop, bringing in just $260.5 million on an estimated $185 million budget. Dune carries a $165 million price tag itself, and the decision to stream the movie on HBO Max is sure to impact its chances of box office success.
A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, 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.
Dune is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) and sees Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) leading the cast alongside Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Dave Bautista (Avengers: Infinity War), Stellan Skarsgard (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Charlotte Rampling (Red Sparrow), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Javier Bardem (Loving Pablo), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Sex Education), and Chang Chen (The Assassin).