“Dune” Gets Delayed To 2021


Another one bites the dust. Just a few short days after James Bond suffered the same fate with his film No Time to Die, Dune is next in the barrel. Word has just come down that Warner Bros. has taken the big science fiction flick off of their 2020 releases schedule. No longer is it coming out on December 18th, instead planning for an October release (in theaters) in 2021. Denis Villeneuve’s movie was pegged to at least be one of the big technical category players at the Academy Awards, but that obviously is no longer going to be the case. Not that this needs reminding, but COVID-19 remains undefeated, folks.

According to Variety, WB has calculated that Dune was likely to be one of many movies to not be able to properly perform with the current state of theater chains, and the world at large. Now, it’s a 2021 release, pegged for the first of next October, where it’ll contend for Oscar attention then. A disappointing for fans of the book, for sure, but the right choice, as we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. Again, don’t sleep on Coronavirus, since it’s hardly done with us.

Here’s some of their report:

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have delayed the release of “Dune,” the big-budget sci-fi epic from director Denis Villeneuve. It will no longer premiere on Dec. 18 and is now slated to debut in theaters on Oct. 1, 2021.

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. declined to comment.

The move was expected after the studio pushed “Wonder Woman 1984” back from early October to Christmas Day, putting the comic book sequel’s big-screen debut one week ahead of “Dune.” In normal circumstances, but especially during the pandemic, Warner Bros. wouldn’t cannibalize ticket sales for a fellow studio release. “Dune” was originally scheduled for November, but its release date has been shuffled multiple times amid the coronavirus crisis. It is one of many anticipated films that was shelved as a result of movie theater closures in March.

Warner Bros.’ “The Batman” — starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves — is also currently dated for Oct. 1, 2021, so there’s a chance the Caped Crusader’s next big-screen adventure will be pushed back again.

News of “Dune’s” delay comes days after James Bond sequel “No Time to Die,” which was originally set to launch at the end of November, was pushed back to 2021. That decision prompted Regal, the second-biggest U.S. theater chain, to close down its venues after reopening in August. If high-profile movies continue to vacate their release dates, other circuits may be forced to shut down again as well. However Cinemark, another major theater operator, announced on Monday that it has no plans to close U.S. venues.

“Cinemark’s reopening plan was designed with multiple contingencies in place to ensure we are able to be nimble and react as needed to this ever-changing environment,” the company said in a statement. “We do not currently have plans to close our U.S. theatres and are continuing to align with demand, including reducing operating hours and days while we await new studio content to encourage theatrical moviegoing.

Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” also from Warner Bros., was hoping to spark a nationwide return to the movies and give rival studios the confidence to unveil tentpoles during the pandemic. But attendance has been slower than expected. “Tenet’s” lackluster U.S. ticket sales has forced studios to pump the brakes on releasing mega-budgeted movies in the midst of a global health crisis. Box office analysts don’t expect many new films to grace theaters until important moviegoing markets, such as New York City and Los Angeles, are granted permission to reopen. Given the reluctance to debut blockbusters, the holiday season — typically one of the busiest times of year for multiplexes — will likely be lighter than usual.

Stay tuned for more on Dune when we have it!

(Source: Variety)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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