Dune Director Sprints to Finish Remake on Time After Pandemic Crushed His Schedule

Director Denis Villeneuve is currently trying to finish work on his upcoming Dune remake. The highly-anticipated blockbuster is set to arrive in December. To hit that mark, Villeneuve will be working overtime as there is still much work to be done. The filmmaker recently said that it is going to be a sprint to get it done on time.

The comments came in a video that recently surfaced online. Denis Villeneuve is featured in a lengthy interview promoting the Shanghai International Film Festival. Naturally, the subject of Dune came up. Here’s what he had to say about it.

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“I was planning to go back and shoot some elements later because I wanted to readjust the movie. I needed time. At the time I didn’t know that it would be a pandemic…as we were about to go back to do those elements. The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now. It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now, because we were allowed to go back to shoot those elements in a few weeks…it meant also that I have to finish some elements of the movie, like VFX and the editing, being in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles.”

Dune is adapted from the acclaimed novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. It tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to secure the future of his family and his people. Evil forces erupt into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence, known as Spice. Speaking further, Denis Villeneuve discussed the challenges of trying to finish the movie while working remotely.

“As a director there are things that can be done remotely to deal with technology. The supervision of VFX with some equipment is easy to do from afar but, editing, for me, the big lesson from this is I thought it would be possible to edit at a distance. With my editor [Joe Walker] sharing equipment, being afar from [one another], but I realize how much editing is like playing music with someone and you need to be in the same room. There’s something about the interaction, human interaction, the spontaneity, the energy in the room. I really miss not being in the same room as my editor….it’s very, very painful.”

The new adaptation features a stacked cast led by Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) as Paul Atreides. The ensemble also includes Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War), Stellan Skarsgard (Chernobyl), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home), David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) and Javier Bardem (Skyfall). Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth co-wrote the screenplay alongside Denis Villeneuve.

Reports recently circulated that the first Dune trailer is set to arrive soon. Though that has yet to be officially confirmed by Warner Bros. Dune is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 18. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further updates are made available. You can check out the full interview with Denis Villeneuve from the Secrets of Dune YouTube channel.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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