Let’s face it: the Dune trailer is spectacular. The cast is perfect, the visuals are breathtaking, and the worm is suitably gigantic. This is the film I’ve been waiting for this year. despite hating the David Lynch version and not having read Frank Herbert’s classic novel. The reason I’m so excited? Because of director Denis Villeneuve.
I want to see his version of anything over the original creators. Just look at Blade Runner 2049. It’s miles better than Ridley Scott’s classic (fight me), so why wouldn’t he knock Dune out of the park?
Here’s the rub. Just like Blade Runner 2049, Dune is going to flop at the box office. Dune already has a bad box office record, and this version is even more screwed by what’s going on the world right now. It’s too big to succeed in the current climate. You can see from the trailer that Dune is an epic; in fact it’s the closest version of a sci-fi epic in the style of David Lean that you’ll get, but in this post-pandemic world, can a film like this really be a success? Given that, in a pre-pandemic one, Blade Runner 2049 couldn’t, it doesn’t look good.
I understand that this shouldn’t matter, Tenet is doing fine and Mulan’s Disney+ premiere has been a success. but that’s Disney, and that’s Christopher Nolan :guaranteed moneymakers in any situation. Denis Villeneuve doesn’t have that wide-ranging clout and. as much as I love his films. I’m not going to the cinema to see it if there is any risk. That’s the reason why there is no Tenet review – I care about my gran more than I do Christopher Nolan, you know?
The reason why I’m talking numbers instead of sand-worms is that this film is only half the story. Dune needs to be a success if we want a part two, but how can there be? As much as I’m desperate to see Dune, perhaps Warner Bros. should have delayed it until next year – because, at this rate, it’s going to be too big a flop to justify a sequel that it will no-doubt deserve.
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By Kevin Boyle
Header Image: Vanity Fair