Dune director Denis Villeneuve is once again talking about his cinema only strategy for the film, via a new interview with La Presse.

Denis Villeneuve has been speaking about the release strategy of Dune again, and his determination to ensure his film will only be seen on the big screen.

As we know, Villeneuve has spoken at length about his passion for the theatrical experience and his insistence that Dune only be seen on the big screen. After negotiations with distributors Warner Brothers, he was able to ensure the film would receive an exclusive theatrical window, not releasing on a day and date strategy to HBO Max as many other Warner Brothers productions have done since the Covid-19 pandemic first closed cinema doors.

Adding to this discourse again, via an interview with French website La Presse, Villeneuve disclosed that he has spoken to Warner Bros regarding providing access to film critics. “I also insisted that no one receives a viewing link so that the film can only be seen on the big screen.

We’ve spoken recently about the challenges faced by non-London based critics, as well as those critics who may have accessibility issues. The access provided by digital screening links and VOD releases have opened up a world of cinema to many that have previously been locked out, so Villeneuve’s latest comments will likely re-ignite conversations regarding elitism and able-ism within the film industry and community.

Villeneuve has however tried to clarify that he does not see streaming platforms as the enemy “I have nothing against platforms, quite the contrary. They are an extraordinary tool to give us access to the memory of cinema. But a film’s career must first start with the big screen. From now on, I will also contractually require my films to be released exclusively in theaters.

It’s hard to disagree that the majority of films are better served by being seen on the big screen first, especially science fiction epics of similar scale to Dune. It’s also understandable that the creator of such a grand project would want it’s viewers to see it in the tone it was expected. But as many have already pointed out, a cinema viewing does not always guarantee a good viewing experience. Who amongst us hasn’t suffered a phone user, a packet rustler or a loud talker during a big screen adventure. Maybe Villeneuve should take a trip to his local multiplex before creating such a contract…

What do you think, is Villeneuve going too far with his cinema only strategy? Let us know in the comments.

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