If you were looking forward to streaming Dune on HBO Max in 2021, you might want to sit… dune for this. According to a new report, the ongoing battle between Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. could result in the highly-anticipated sci-fi film being pulled from the list of 17 films being simultaneously released in theaters and on HBO Max. The two sides have been warring ever since WarnerMedia unveiled its aggressive streaming release plans at the beginning of December without informing concerned parties until mere minutes before the announcement. Via Deadline:
Legendary is in a big fight that might result in lawsuits after it financed 75% of tent poles Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong and was completely blindsided. Rumors have the solution to that breach being to preserve Dune as a traditional theatrical to preserve its franchise potential and since its October 1 release date falls well after the estimated late spring date when Covid vaccines should achieve herd immunity.
Whether Legendary will be successful in halting Dune‘s HBO Max release remains to be seen, but the studio was quick to threaten legal action against WarnerMedia when it became aware of the streaming plan. Dune director Denis Villeneuve also entered the fray and blasted Warner Bros.’ parent company AT&T in an open letter to Variety that was backed by Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa. “With this decision AT&T has hijacked one of the most respectable and important studios in film history,” Villeneuve wrote. “There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here. It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth.”
Villeneuve even went so far as to say that the streaming decision “might just have killed the Dune franchise.”