Dune director Denis Villenueve says it’s a struggle to complete the film on time.
The sci-fi epic was scheduled to hit theaters at the end of the year. With the current climate, Villenueve expressed concerns about finishing the movie by December.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic widely affected film and television production. While Dune completed principal filming last year, the film still suffers from the pandemic’s ongoing effects. For one, the movie requires extensive post-production work to incorporate special effects. Additionally, reshoots scheduled for this month will have to adapt to new COVID-19 production guidelines.
In an interview with CCTV, Villenueve explained the pandemic’s impact on Dune.
“I was planning to go back and shoot some elements later because I wanted to readjust the movie. At the time I didn’t know that it would be a pandemic…as we were about to go back to do those elements. The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now,” said Villenueve.
The director further stated concerns about adhering to the film’s current release timeline.
“It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now, because we were allowed to go back to shoot those elements in a few weeks…[The pandemic] meant also that I have to finish some elements of the movie, like VFX and the editing, being in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles,” said Villenueve.
Will Warner Bros delay Dune?
COVID-19 made a mess of the 2020 theatrical release schedule. With Dune initially scheduled for December 18, it hasn’t suffered the uncertainty of some other films. (We’ve lost count of how many times Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has been rescheduled.) Still, Villenueve’s concern for the film’s timeline must also be a pressing concern for the studio.
So will we actually get to see Dune in theaters this December? Like so much right now, that’s a bit up in the air. At this point, we still don’t know if movie theaters will even widely be open by the end of the year. Dune’s fate will likely be linked to the failure or success of other theatrical releases like Wonder Woman 1984. If films like Tenet and Wonder Woman underperform at the box office – or end up delaying their release again – Dune may not hit theaters until 2021.