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Denis Villeneuve: "The enemy right now is the pandemic"

The latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic Dune is helmed by none of other than Denis Villeneuve, the director behind modern masterpieces such as Incendies and Blade Runner 2049. Starring the likes of Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson among others, Dune is a highly anticipated spectacle despite the initial reviews from film festivals where critics have dismissed Villeneuve’s work as “kind of boring”.

In a recent interview, Chalamet revealed how much it meant for him to work with Villeneuve and learn from someone as intellectually versatile as the filmmaker: “To get to work with Denis on it, to get to work with someone of his calibre, let alone on a book that he considers the book of his youth and one of the things he has connected to the most,” the actor said.

“When he would have it in his hands on set,” Chalamet continued, “His body language would become that of a fan; of a kid who had fallen in love with the book at home in Montreal. And when all the kids around him were wearing hockey jerseys with their favourite players’ names on the back, this was a kid wearing a jersey that said ‘Spielberg’ on the back.”

Like almost every other project that was in the works when the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the world, Dune suffered from disruptions and delays in its scheduled plans as well. After its lacklustre premiere at the Venice Film Festival this month, Dune is set for a theatrical release in October which will be accompanied by its release on HBO Max.

Villeneuve said: “The good news is that it’s going to be released on Earth in theatres and in the United States it’s going to be day-and-date. The enemy right now is the pandemic. It is very difficult for theatre owners and it’s very difficult for everybody, and I did feel with Legendary that it was time to go out. We had postponed the movie for a year due to safety.”

Adding, “Now because vaccinations have advanced, it’s safe enough to put the movie in the world,” he said. “Last year, when we decided to postpone, I understood why; it was about safety. I was sad because I thought I was abandoning people. There’s always a joy when a new movie is coming out. But, it’s time to hit the road.”

Dune is set to be given a worldwide cinematic release on October 22, 2021.