Dune director Denis Villeneuve believes films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are nothing more than a “cut and paste of other films”.
In a recent interview with El Mundo (via ComicBook), the Blade Runner 2049 and Hitman director expanded on this opinion, stating his perspective that “there are too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a cut and paste of others.”
This criticism is not unfounded. Numerous Marvel fans have voiced similar complaints over the last several years, particularly following the release of certain films, some of which were seen as formulaic and uninspired. The common use of CGI as a crutch to avoid genuine depth in storytelling is also a common grievance, particularly in films like Captain Marvel, in which CGI is abundantly necessary to bring a character to life.
This criticism was reinforced by the release of WandaVision on Disney Plus. The show explored a genuinely unique storytelling method through which it strove to communicate a story of loss, grief, and the journey toward acceptance, but abandoned its far more emotionally compelling plot structure for a CGI-fueled fight scene in the show’s final episode. Some viewers saw this as proof that the MCU doesn’t know how to deliver a good story without leaning on its own prior success.
Villeneuve echoed this criticism in his interview, even while working to promote the upcoming release of special effect-laden Dune. The director emphasized the need for Dune to be enjoyed via a full theatrical release, rather than in dual formats like many recent releases.
He is hoping that his film will avoid the issues that have plagued the industry since the COVID-19 pandemic began, spurred by the need for people to avoid crowded public spaces like movie theaters. This has led to some films, like recent MCU film Black Widow, being released on a streaming platform alongside their theatrical release, which has damaged their box office returns. In the midst of a global pandemic, however, these choices are often out of filmmakers’ hands.
Despite his concerns about how his film will be enjoyed, Villeneuve seemed thoroughly optimistic about the future of the Dune franchise, even if he wasn’t able to realize his dream of filming the entire saga back to back.
Dune is set to hit theaters on Oct. 22, 2021.