Warner Bros. has delayed the release of Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune by several weeks, moving it later in the fall to October 22. Previously slated for October 1, it remains uncertain, at least for the moment, if the upcoming film will arrive exclusively in theaters or also debut simultaneously on HBO Max.
Dune‘s delay is part of a larger release date shuffle by Warner Bros. that sees The Many Saints of Newark take the spot previously held by the Villeneuve film and Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film Cry Macho move up to September 17. Meanwhile, ahead of its theatrical October release, Dune will have its worldwide premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September and screen shortly after at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
The latest shift in release date is considerably less impactful than the first move, which put the blockbuster epic nearly a year later from December 2020 to this fall. While the day-of HBO Max release hasn’t been officially overturned at this point, Warner Bros. could change plans as the pandemic evolves. After all, the initial decision to move all of their 2021 slate to the streaming service caused an uproar in the industry and even made Christopher Nolan exclaim the WarnerMedia streaming service as the worst in the business. If Dune indeed switches to a theatrical-only run, Warner Bros. would likely employ a 45-day theatrical window strategy before it heads to streaming — even it means disappointing the flock of fans ready to watch the sci-fi epic on day one on their phones (joking, sort of).
Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth and directed an all-star cast that includes Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, and Stellan Skarsgard.
Dune will finally hit theaters on October 22.