Sandworms, spice, and everything nice: director Denis Villeneuve’s cinematic take on Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel Dune may have a few Marvel Studios actors stacked onto its impressive cast, but the director isn’t exactly enthused over Marvel and its seemingly endless, sprawling cinematic universe. The Marvel Cinematic Universe shows no sign of slowing down, even in the light of the Dune director slamming the unoriginality of Marvel movies.
Villeneuve deemed Marvel movies to be “cut and paste” during a recent interview with El Mundo, and while he’s not the first filmmaker to make remarks surrounding Marvel’s practice of filmmaking, he’s not holding back about how he truly views the studio’s infinite catalog. “There are too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a cut and paste of others.” The Dune director knows that Marvel fans are known to be fiercely loyal when their favorite franchise is under attack, but openly takes aim at how the Marvel formula shapes the way that their films are formatted and executed.
Villeneuve added to his opinion where he mentioned that he believes that studio filmmakers can add a little color to their approach to the next Marvel title. The highly critical stance against Marvel movies is not expressed around other science fiction blockbusters series. In fact, he credited the Star Wars franchise for his inspiration behind Dune, mining his inspiration from one scene in Star Wars: A New Hope.
Dune will release in close proximity to Marvel Studios’ Eternals directed by the Oscar-winning Chloe Zhao. However, Villeneuve is not a man who takes his adaptation lightly, sharing his great pride in his work from pre to post-production. The director expressed great optimism about a Dune 2 with Total Film despite the outcome of box office totals and the generation of movie theater revenue. He’s admitted to ComicBook.com that he’s writing the sequel ahead of a confirmed green light from Warner Bros. and Legendary, and insists that Dune would need a “really bad outcome” to not warrant a second part.
Dune, which anticipates to add on to its cinematic universe even before it reaches mainstream audiences through theatrical means and HBO Max, has the ideas of the groundwork for its sequel film. Villeneuve makes it extremely clear that he cannot wait to work with Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya as Paul Atreides and Chani Kynes again. If Dune 2 is approved by the studios overseeing it, there will be a shift in character hierarchy, and Zendaya will step in as the lead female protagonist. HBO Max has ordered a Dune prequel spin-off series, Dune: The Sisterhood, and it looks like there are the foundations of a Dune Cinematic Universe in the making. Marvel and other popular franchises have shared this approach when organizing their content, and there’s a chance that Dune can join in, too.
The cinematic arrangement may not be the only thing that Dune and Marvel have in common. There is also the dual-release distribution tactic that has been in practice since the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the future of moviegoing. Just as Disney and Marvel have released Black Widow on Disney+ for eager fans to watch from the comfort of their home, Warner Bros. and Legendary have decided to stream Dune on HBO Max while allotting a theatrical window for the epic space opera. Villeneuve insists that Dune is crafted for the big screen and that its visuals are meant for the movies; Warner Bros. wants to bring in the money that could be lost at the theaters. After a series of delays, Dune is set to welcome audiences to the planet Arrakis on October 22, 2021.