Fans of sweeping sci-fi epics are in for a double dose of excitement later this year, provided there are no more sweeping changes made to the theatrical schedule. At long last, Denis Villenueve’s Dune is set to arrive on Oct. 22, and based on all the footage we’ve seen so far, it promises to be nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Just two weeks later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe throws its hat into the ring with Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, which sent the internet into a meltdown when the first teaser premiered in May. With the Academy Award winning director’s millennia-spanning superhero story now less than three months away, we could be getting a full-length promo imminently, presumably attached to Sept. 3’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Dune has already been labeled as having the potential to be this generation’s The Lord of the Rings, while other early buzz compared it to both Star Wars and Harry Potter. So the pressure is on for Villenueve’s blockbuster to live up to such a lofty billing. Zhao is clearly impressed, having offered her reaction to watching it on the big screen.
“It gives me hope that a filmmaker like Denis is able to really harness his vision and put together something that’s so incredible, so cinematic. I’m just blown away by the experience I had in that room.”
Villenueve might be furious about Dune arriving day-and-date on HBO Max, but anyone that’s seen the trailers will surely be more than aware that it isn’t the kind of film you should watch for the first time on your television at home. The visuals, world-building, and sheer scope of the project are massive, and it’s exactly the sort of event picture that demands to be seen in a cinema.
Whether that happens is an entirely different question, especially in the wake of The Suicide Squad‘s disappointing box office debut and lower than expected HBO Max numbers.