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Kyle MacLachlan: ‘It’s Disheartening’ Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Will Debut on Streaming

MacLachlan realizes "simultaneous releases are kind of the wave of the future."

Kyle MacLachlan and Timothee Chalamet in two versions of "Dune"

Kyle MacLachlan and Timothee Chalamet in two versions of “Dune”

Everett Collection/Warner Bros.

Kyle MacLachlan knows “Dune” requires the biggest screen possible, even if his 1984 David Lynch-directed adaptation was an infamous misfire with critics and audiences. In a recent interview with The Seattle Times, MacLachlan said it was “disheartening” that Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming “Dune” adaptation is not being prioritized for theaters as it will also be released on streaming via HBO Max in October. “Dune” is a part of Warner Bros. 2021 hybrid slate, in which films open in theaters on the same day they become available to stream on HBO Max for 31 days.

“I’m excited to see it,” MacLachlan told The Times. “It’s one of my favorite books and I look forward to seeing what the director Villeneuve does with it. I think the simultaneous release is kind of the wave of the future. It’s disheartening though because a movie like that is meant to be seen on the large screen.”

Villeneuve previously condemned Warner Bros. for shifting “Dune” to a hybrid release model, writing an open letter last December that read: “There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here. It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth, one that is currently bearing an astronomical debt of more than $150 billion. Therefore, even though ‘Dune’ is about cinema and audiences, AT&T is about its own survival on Wall Street. With HBO Max’s launch a failure thus far, AT&T decided to sacrifice Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate in a desperate attempt to grab the audience’s attention.”

The director went as far as saying the shift to HBO Max “threatened” the franchise potential of “Dune,” which he designed from the start to be a two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel. Expanding the book across multiple films is something MacLachlan believes could have helped Lynch’s 1984 movie succeed. The actor told IndieWire last summer that Herbert’s book is so “incredibly dense” that to try and fit it all into one film like Lynch’s movie is “almost impossible.”

“I would lobby for three or more films, because it has that kind of potential to really open up,” MacLachlan said. “In my imagination, I always thought it would be great to approach it like a ‘Game of Thrones’ model, where you have seasons, or at least a 10-part series, or a 12-part series. You could really go from beginning to end.”

“Dune” is currently scheduled to open in theaters and stream on HBO Max beginning October 2.

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