It seems those concerned that there will be a Dune-shaped absence in cinemas later this year have nothing to worry about.
The follow-up to the 2021 blockbuster is currently scheduled to be released in November – however, a recent report claimed that it would potentially be delayed due to the ongoing actors’ strike in Hollywood.
The actors’ strike is currently in its second week after the 160,000 member-strong union voted to join striking writers, who are fighting for better compensation and assurances that they will not lose work to artificial intelligence (AI), among other demands.
Until a deal is reached, actors will not be participating in the promotion of their forthcoming films. The report, from Deadline, claimed that this is the reason Legendary Pictures is considering pushing Dune: Part Two from 3 November to an undetermined date in 2024 before its next round of marketing begins in September.
Chief Executive Officer Richard Gelfond said that studio bosses have “certainly told me that that article is not true”, adding: “I feel quite strongly that it’s not going to move.”
Gelfond suggested that director Denis Villeneuve might be hesitant to waste the money already spent on the film’s marketing campaign, which he said is “out of the gate”. He acknowledged that a delay would be down to lead stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya’s inability to promote the film, but suggested it would be risky to forego what will be an exclusive six-week run on IMAX screens this November.
“With no disrespect to Timothée Chalamet, are you going to be able to make up for losing the six-week IMAX release?” Gelfond asked. “Are you going to be made up the cost of capital and carrying it for a year? Are you going to move it to an uncertain year when you have no idea what’s going to be put against you when they have virtually no competition right now in the marketplace? It doesn’t really make any sense.”
Gelfond said that, should Dune Part Two move, “there’s another great movie coming out” that would take its place: Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, which he revealed is currently unable to screen in IMAX due to the company’s Dune commitments.
“If Dune moves, we will just go over to The Marvels – and having a Marvel movie as a back-up is not the worst position to be in the world. But in terms of Dune, my own opinion is that it’s highly unlikely to move.”
The Independent has contacted Warner Bros Pictures for comment.
Earlier this year, Zendaya, while unveiling the film’s trailer at CinemaCon, assured fans that she would have a larger role in Dune: Part Two having just appeared “in dreams” in the first film.
Villeneuve described the sequel as “an epic war movie” and “much more dense”.
Also starring in the film are Elvis actor Austin Butler, who has undergone a radical transformation for the role, and Florence Pugh, who will play Princess Corrino.
Dune: Part Two is currently scheduled to be released on 3 November.
IMAX has just achieved a record-breaking weekend following the release of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, with BFI IMAX becoming the number one screen for the film in the UK during its opening weekend.
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