Dune begins its global cinema rollout, and as it turns out, HBO Max numbers might be as vital to the chances of Dune 2 as cinema takings.
With the current climate being what it is, it may be particularly difficult to persuade financiers that the new Dune deserves – commercially at least – a sequel upon release. After all, it’s going straight to HBO Max as well as the cinemas in the US (after some internal disagreements at Warner Bros, it would seem), plus some blockbusters are having a tough time proving their worth theatrically at the moment anyway.
Of late, director Denis Villeneuve seems to be taking matters into his hands by simply willing the sequel into existence.
Last month he revealed that the sequel will follow Zendaya’s character, Chani, and today he has revealed that the script is in progress, stating that “I’m writing [the second one] now, and I feel like I’m eight years old again”.
He added that “it’s the first time I’ve experienced it where I’m watching one of my movies, and I have a moment of deep gratitude, of deep joy, and I say, ‘thank you, life, for having allowed me to bring that to the screen.’ [laughs] I don’t know how other people will feel about it. But me? Denis Villeneuve when he was 14 years old? Thank you”.
With the first film hitting UK and US cinemas (and streaming platform, HBO Max in the US) next month, Villeneuve has been assured that diminished box office receipts won’t hurt the film’s chances of spawning a sequel. Variety reports that there have been ‘assurances that diminished box office revenues won’t prohibit him from having the chance to make his follow-up feature.’
Furthermore, the film’s performance on HBO Max will also be integral to the film’s sequel chances, as ‘studio executives have said streaming metrics on HBO Max have been in line with ticket sales; when a Warner Bros. movie hits big at the box office, it has also seen a sizeable audience on HBO Max. But when a film has fallen flat in cinemas, it has gone similarly unwatched on streaming.’
Therefore, the film is expected to perform well in both areas for it to be considered a success, in the manner that other similar releases have done.
With the UK release of Dune just five weeks away, we’ll be able to judge for ourselves come October 22nd. We can’t wait, and we’re hopeful the film sparks enough interest to bag Villeneuve the sequel he so desperately wants.
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