Denis Villeneuve criticises Warner Bros for decision to release Dune simultaneously on HBO Max
'Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of Dune’s scope and scale,' director Denis Villeneuve says after Warner Bros revealed its 2021 releases will play in theatres and stream on HBO Max simultaneously.
Days after Warner Bros Pictures revealed all its films in the 2021 slate will simultaneously stream on HBO Max along with playing in theatres, Dune director expressed his displeasure over the move.
Villeneuve, in a statement released on Variety, stated that he "learned in the news" about the move, before adding that with the decision, AT&T has hijacked one of the most respectable and important studios in film history.
According to Villeneuve, there is no love for cinema or the audience, but it is all about the survival of a "telecom mammoth" that currently has a debt of more than $150 billion.
Villeneuve went on to add that even though Dune is about cinema and the audience, AT&T is all about its own survival on Wall Street. "With HBO Max’s launch a failure thus far, AT&T decided to sacrifice Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate in a desperate attempt to grab the audience’s attention," he said,
In his piece, Villeneuve also warned that streaming platforms like HBO Max cannot sustain the film industry as it was before the COVID pandemic and added that the decision to release Dune on HBO Max will have devastating effects.
He wrote, "Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of Dune’s scope and scale." According to him, the decision will not allow Dune the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately win.
"Warner Bros. might just have killed the Dune franchise," he said, adding that while AT&T’s John Stankey said the streaming horse left the barn, in reality, it left the barn for the slaughterhouse.
The director went on to add that he was perfectly fine with the delay in the opening of the film for almost a year, to a time when it would play in theatres, when vaccinations will be advanced, adding that the film, by far is the best he has ever made.
He revealed that he and his team devoted more than three years of their lives to make the unique big screen experience, crafted to be seen in theatres.
Villeneuve said that he strongly believes that the future of cinema is on the big screen, no matter what any "Wall Street dilettante" says adding that once the pandemic is over, theatres will be filled again with film lovers.
Apart from Dune, The Suicide Squad, The Conjuring: The Devil Make Me Do It, Matrix, Godzilla vs Kong, will alo stream on HBO Max and at the same time play in theatres.
According to a report in Cnet, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), a brilliant young man born into a destiny beyond his comprehension. He must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and people. Dune also stars Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Rebecca Ferguson and Stellan Skarsgård.
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