Dune director Denis Villeneuve is supportive of Scarlett Johansson’s decision to sue Disney over Black Widow’s release strategy.
Scarlett Johansson made headlines earlier last month when she decided to sue Disney over how they handled Black Widow‘s release. Disney opted to release the film in both cinemas and on Disney Plus via Premiere Access, meaning families could watch the film day and date for $30 USD. Seeing as the film was released on the streaming service, it clearly ate into Black Widow’s box office numbers, resulting in Johansson getting a lesser percentage of the box office total.
The lawsuit made waves around the industry, with many supporting Scarlett Johansson’s confident decision. Now, Dune director Denis Villeneuve, a huge proponent for theatrical releases has chimed in on the matter. In a chat with La Presse, the Dune director opened up about how the entire film industry is in limbo right now as it attempts to navigate the current streaming landscape. The director continued by discussing how films originally slated for theatres now going to streaming completely change contracts signed – like Scarlett Johansson’s -years before on a whim.
What if the reverse happens and we don’t live up to the contracts we signed on our side? In addition, it is wrong to believe that cinema on the big screen is not doing well. But this industry is on a roller coaster ride, which is at odds with Wall Street’s desire for stability. And these platform subscriptions provide studios with fixed income. I have nothing against platforms, quite the contrary. They are an extraordinary tool to give us access to the memory of cinema. But a film’s career must begin with the big screen first. From now on, I will also contractually require my films to be released in theaters first. “
The Dune director has maintained that he is disappointed that his sci-fi epic will be going to HBO Max day and date the film releases in cinemas. This move not only goes against Villeneuve’s personal philosophy against movies going to streaming but also affects his bottom line as his contract with Warner Bros. was likely changed.
Here is the synopsis for Dune:
Set in the distant future, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides whose family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.
Denis Villeneuve directed Dune from a script he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts. The film stars Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, and David Dastmalchian.
Dune arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22, 2021. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of the franchise and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.
Source: La Presse