WarnerMedia may end up backing down thanks to the threat of lawsuit from Legendary after it was announced their pricey Dune remake was being thrown on to HBO Max (day-and-date model) without their consent or knowledge. The production company who had spent their own money on 75% of the budgets of both Dune and Godzilla vs Kong were not consulted before their films were added to the domestic streaming service putting their films in direct competition with the theatrical release.
Deadline seemingly has some sort of vague update concerning the fate of Dune, however, the outlet is making sure to use the word “rumors” when stating WarnerMedia may end up keeping the traditional theatrical release. We have to assume this would be a way to avoid further legal issues with Legendary, who certainly have the legal grounds to take them to court.
Battles big and small are being fought on numerous films: 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. Godzilla vs. Kong might stay an HBO Max hybrid in its May 21 slot, but only if Warner Bros makes a deal with Legendary that uses as a base the $250 million value established when the film was shopped earlier to Netflix.
Legendary wasn’t the only party upset over the HBO Max announcement, director Denis Villeneuve penned a strongly worded editorial condemning the move. Denis happens to be producing and directing a Dune spinoff series for HBO Max titled Dune: The Sisterhood that would most likely be put into chaos over a falling-out between WarnerMedia and Legendary/Villeneuve.
DUNE – A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
The film stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name,” “Little Women”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”), Oscar Isaac (the “Star Wars” franchise) Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO’s “Chernobyl,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Avengers: Endgame”), Stephen McKinley Henderson (“Fences,” “Lady Bird”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” HBO’s “Euphoria”), David Dastmalchian (“Blade Runner 2049,” “The Dark Knight”), Chang Chen (“Mr. Long,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Netflix’s “Sex Education”), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed”), with Jason Momoa (“Aquaman,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”).