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“They need to make the four-to-six hour version of the first half”
TOTAL FILM: Move over, Snyder Cut – Dune star Jason Momoa wants to see the Villeneuve Cut. Based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, Villeneuve had over 400 pages of complex source material to adapt, and Momoa would like to see it in all its glory.
“It was a cool movie. You know what they need to do? They need to make the four-to-six hour version of the first half,” Momoa told The New York Times. “It’s like, ‘Let’s watch the four-to-five-hour movie like a TV show; I can choose when I want to watch the whole thing.’ I want to see Denis’s whole vision. I don’t want it to be trimmed.”
The movie focuses on a planet called Arrakis (also known as Dune), the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe – a drug called ‘the spice’ that extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought, and makes faster-than-light travel possible.
Oscar Isaac plays Duke Leto Atreides, the man in control of Arrakis, while Timothée Chalamet is his son Paul. Momoa plays Duncan Idaho, one of Duke Leto’s right-hand men. After a bitter betrayal, Paul must seek refuge among the Fremen, the native people of the planet who live in the desert – one of these people is Chani, played by Zendaya. Oh, and throw some dangerous giant sandworms into the mix, too. Alongside Momoa, the all-star cast also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, and Javier Bardem.
Dune is released in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22. In the meantime, check out our list of the best sci-fi movies of all time.
This interviewer really ticked him off. I’ve never seen Jason get mad in a review.
NEW YORK TIMES: A decade ago, the action star Jason Momoa seemed to emerge fully formed into the public consciousness as the magnetically imposing chieftain Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones.” The truth, of course, is that his breakthrough came only after a long, hard slog through the Hollywood hinterlands. Lately, Momoa, who is 42, has been taking on the perhaps even harder challenge of expanding that initial impression. To that end, Momoa, who played the lead in “Aquaman,” tested his acting chops alongside the likes of Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem and Timothée Chalamet in the director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel “Dune,” which is due out in October. Before then, in late August, Momoa will star in the Netflix thriller “Sweet Girl,” which nods to big-pharma corruption amid its hard-boiled milieu, as well as the second season of his Apple series, “See,” a family drama dressed in bloodstained, post-apocalyptic clothing. “I’m finally getting to play characters with depth and color,” Momoa says, speaking over Zoom from London, where he was shooting an “Aquaman” sequel. “It’s been a long road, bro.”
I’m curious to hear your perspective on superhero movies. People love them, obviously, but you also get things like Martin Scorsese saying they’re closer to amusement-park rides than cinema. These are films made with a focus on sales, but how much room do you feel you have to also make them artistically credible?
It’s like how people say that music is poppy and this music cool. But you know how hard it is just to get your music out there for people to hear? It’s all subjective. I try not to pick on anything. So, yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they’re like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments. And, gosh, you’re taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You’re taking away visual effects, you’re taking away what you can do with makeup. I’m not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about. I have a vision for the whole totality of “Aquaman.” There are environmental issues that I get to put into it. So while you’re going, “Oh yeah, it’s just this popcorn movie,” I’m like, “Well, I get to open people’s eyes to things that are important to me.”
In my reading of your career, it seems as if it wasn’t until you played Khal Drogo and had a clear persona that the starring roles started coming. Does that jibe with your experience?
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Last September, the first trailer to Dune was released to much fanfare. Ten months later, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi adaptation is back after a long delay as COVID-19 upended the theatrical marketplace. Timothée Chalamet stars in Dune as Paul, heir to House Atreides.
The new trailer opens with Chani (Zendaya) narrating a look at her desert planet, Arrakis, explaining how the empire has exploited the planet for its natural resource known as Spice, and how her people have fought back. Spice is needed to conduct interstellar travel, making it the most valuable resource in the known universe. The film sees House Atreides — led by Leto (Oscar Isaac) — take stewardship over Arrakis.
Dune, from Legendary and Warner Bros., is part one of a planned two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic novel, which is credited with inspiring works such as Star Wars. It also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgard, as the villainous Baron Harkonnen. Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth penned the script.
In addition to the film, Dune is being spun off as a TV show. Dune will debut in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 22.
As first anticipated by Variety, the fest has announced that the big-budget sci-fi epic starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya will world premiere in Venice out-of-competition on September 3.
The film is adapted from Frank Herbert’s seminal science fiction bestseller about young Paul Atreides (Chalamet), scion of the noble House of Atreides which has been tasked with overseeing the barren desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune.
Villeneuve was last in Venice with a non-conventional sci-fi pic “Arrival” in 2016.
The star-studded pic from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Sharon Duncan Brewster, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.
Though Venice, as is customary, has not specified what talents will be attending the “Dune” premiere, it’s a safe bet that Warner Bros. will be flying in some stars.
“Dune” is scheduled for a simultaneous release in theaters via Warner Bros. and on HBO Max on October 1.
Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve, Cale Boyter and Joe Caracciolo, Jr. produced the film. The executive producers were Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert.
Venice’s upcoming Sept. 1-11 edition is on track, barring complications, to run as a completely in-person celebration of cinema with hundreds of journalists and dozens of film delegations expected to make the trek to the Lido from all over the world.
Other high-profile titles believed to be locked in for a Lido launch comprise Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, and Paolo Sorrentino’s semi-autobiographical drama “The Hand of God,” both from Netflix.
As previously announced, Bong Joon-ho will preside over the main Venice jury, while Italian multiple Oscar winner Roberto Benigni (“Life Is Beautiful”) will be honored with a lifetime achievement award.
VARIETY – Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have delayed the release of “Dune,” the big-budget sci-fi epic from director Denis Villeneuve. It will no longer premiere on Dec. 18 and is now slated to debut in theaters on Oct. 1, 2021.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. declined to comment.
The move was expected after the studio pushed “Wonder Woman 1984” back from early October to Christmas Day, putting the comic book sequel’s big-screen debut one week ahead of “Dune.” In normal circumstances, but especially during the pandemic, Warner Bros. wouldn’t cannibalize ticket sales for a fellow studio release. “Dune” was originally scheduled for November, but its release date has been shuffled multiple times amid the coronavirus crisis. It is one of many anticipated films that was shelved as a result of movie theater closures in March.
Warner Bros.’ “The Batman” — starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves — is also currently dated for Oct. 1, 2021, so there’s a chance the Caped Crusader’s next big-screen adventure will be pushed back again.
News of “Dune’s” delay comes days after James Bond sequel “No Time to Die,” which was originally set to launch at the end of November, was pushed back to 2021. That decision prompted Regal, the second-biggest U.S. theater chain, to close down its venues after reopening in August. If high-profile movies continue to vacate their release dates, other circuits may be forced to shut down again as well. However Cinemark, another major theater operator, announced on Monday that it has no plans to close U.S. venues.
“Cinemark’s reopening plan was designed with multiple contingencies in place to ensure we are able to be nimble and react as needed to this ever-changing environment,” the company said in a statement. “We do not currently have plans to close our U.S. theatres and are continuing to align with demand, including reducing operating hours and days while we await new studio content to encourage theatrical moviegoing.
Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” also from Warner Bros., was hoping to spark a nationwide return to the movies and give rival studios the confidence to unveil tentpoles during the pandemic. But attendance has been slower than expected. “Tenet’s” lackluster U.S. ticket sales has forced studios to pump the brakes on releasing mega-budgeted movies in the midst of a global health crisis. Box office analysts don’t expect many new films to grace theaters until important moviegoing markets, such as New York City and Los Angeles, are granted permission to reopen. Given the reluctance to debut blockbusters, the holiday season — typically one of the busiest times of year for multiplexes — will likely be lighter than usual.
“Dune” is based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, and stars Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin and Zendaya.