Denis Villeneuve Says Watching ‘Dune’ on a TV Is Like Driving a ‘Speedboat in Your Bathtub’

“For me, it’s ridiculous. It’s a movie that has been made as a tribute to the big-screen experience,” the director says

Denis Villeneuve Dune Rendezvous with Rama
Getty Images

“Dune” director Denis Villeneuve is still bothered that his latest sci-fi epic will premiere day-and-date in theaters and HBO Max, saying that his film was made for the big screen and not for televisions.

Villeneuve in a new interview with Total Film said that the pandemic is the “enemy of the cinema” and acknowledged the “tremendous pressure” that the industry is under, but he doubled down on some of his previous comments about the film’s move to streaming.

“The way it happened, I’m still not happy. Frankly, to watch ‘Dune’ on a television, the best way I can compare it is to drive a speedboat in your bathtub,” Villeneuve said in an interview published Tuesday. “For me, it’s ridiculous. It’s a movie that has been made as a tribute to the big-screen experience.”

Villeneuve was one of the most vocal opponents of Warner Bros.’ decision to put its entire 2021 slate both in theaters and on HBO Max for one month on the same day. At the time in December, he wrote an open letter saying that the move showed that then-parent AT&T and Warner Bros. had shown “absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience.”

Villeneuve in the interview also discussed the pressure of “Dune” to perform at the box office and whether it will prompt a “Part Two” sequel. The “Prisoners” and “Arrival” director explained that for decades people have been saying that an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel would be unfilmable, but his previous science fiction epic “Blade Runner 2049” faced a similarly tough uphill battle at the box office, making only $92 million domestically on a budget of over $150 million.

“Dune” opens in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 22, but it will also make its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and play in a special IMAX screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Read more from Denis Villeneuve’s interview with Total Film (via Games Radar) here.

For the record: A previous version of this story said that Villeneuve previously said “Dune” Part 2 would be focused on Zendaya’s character. This is inaccurate and was based on an incorrect translation of an interview with an Italian publication.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.