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Denis Villeneuve blasts Warner Bros over decision to move ‘Dune’ to HBO Max

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The filmmaker mentioned he stands in solidarity with different filmmakers whose movies now stare on the “similar destiny“.

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has written a hard-hitting article, slamming Warner Bros and its dad or mum firm AT&T over their decision to launch its 2021 movies, together with his subsequent “Dune”, concurrently in theatres and on HBO Max.

Last week, Warner Bros had introduced that its whole slate of movies for the yr 2021 will premiere each in theatres and on HBO Max.

Among the 17 movies which are set to be obtainable each theatrically and on the streamer are big-budget tentpoles resembling Villeneuve’s “Dune”, “The Suicide Squad”, monster film “Godzilla vs Kong”, and Keanu Reeves-starrer “The Matrix 4“.

In the article for Variety on Thursday, Villeneuve said the company’s move is “a desperate attempt to grab the audience’s attention” for HBO Max, which has proved to be a “failure thus far.”

“I learned in the news that Warner Bros. has decided to release ‘Dune’ on HBO Max at the same time as our theatrical release, using prominent images from our movie to promote their streaming service.

“With this decision AT&T has hijacked one of the most respectable and important studios in film history. There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here,” the filmmaker wrote.

His feedback come days after filmmaker Christopher Nolan, whose newest film “Tenet” was launched by Warner Bros, slammed the studio’s decision.

Nolan had mentioned Warner Bros’ move was geared toward salvaging its “fledgling” streaming service HBO Max.

Villeneuve, the person behind a number of critically-acclaimed options like “Prisoners”, “Sicario” “Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049”, notably focused AT&T, saying that the corporate’s decision is motivated by its personal survival because it has a debt of greater than USD 150 billion.

“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.

“Warner Bros’ sudden reversal from being a legacy home for filmmakers to the new era of complete disregard draws a clear line for me. Filmmaking is a collaboration, reliant on the mutual trust of team work and Warner Bros. has declared they are no longer on the same team.”

Though Villeneuve praised streaming companies for his or her content material and place within the media panorama, he made clear that they alone can’t save motion pictures throughout this time of unparalleled disaster.

The studio had initially dated “Dune”, which is an official adaptation of creator Frank Herbert’s traditional 1965 novel, for December 18 this yr however the coronavirus pandemic pressured it to push the film again to October 1, 2021.

Villeneuve mentioned he supported the studio’s decision to delay ‘Dune’ as he was assured that normalcy would return by that point.

“Warner Bros’ decision means ‘Dune’ won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph. Warner Bros might just have killed the ‘Dune’ franchise.

“This one is for the fans. AT&T’s John Stankey said that the streaming horse left the barn. In truth, the horse left the barn for the slaughterhouse,” he added.

Villeneuve mentioned he stands in solidarity with different filmmakers whose movies now stare on the “same fate.”

“I strongly believe the future of cinema will be on the big screen, no matter what any Wall Street dilettante says. Since the dawn of time, humans have deeply needed communal storytelling experiences.

“Cinema on the big screen is more than a business, it is an art form that brings people together, celebrating humanity, enhancing our empathy for one another — it’s one of the very last artistic, in-person collective experiences we share as human beings,” he added.

Believing that the theatres will thronged with cinema lovers when the pandemic is over, Villeneuve urged AT&T to “act swiftly with the same responsibility, respect and regard to protect this vital cultural medium“.

“Economic impact to stakeholders is only one aspect of corporate social responsibility. Finding ways to enhance culture is another. The moviegoing experience is like no other.

“In those darkened theatres films capture our history, educate us, fuel our imagination and lift and inspire our collective spirit. It is our legacy,” he mentioned.

The filmmaker ended his article with the slogan “Long live theatrical cinema!”

“Dune” includes a star-studded solid of Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem.


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