"Dune" Completion a Struggle, Says Director

 

While it's been anticipated that a vaccine for the COVID-19 will not happen till around the end of the year, studios are still holding out hope that the holidays will be a time to recoup losses with the large amount of industry shutdowns that have prevented projects to stall and release dates of blockbusters pushed back. Another aspect are films that were in the midst of production but have yet to do the common additional shooting and technical work required. One major example is director Denis Villeneuve's upcoming adaptation of Dune, the first installment of a two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert's legendary science fiction novel. In a recent interview with IndieWire, Villeneuve speaks about how the pandemic has interfered with his unique way of making the film:

"We were about to finish some shooting… the movie was like almost finished. Dune has been made in an unusual way which is that we made the main shooting, and then I edited that part of the movie and I was planning to go back to shoot some elements later because I wanted to readjust the movie – I needed time, and it’s a luxury that I had [before the pandemic]… When the virus hit North America as we were about to go back to do those elements."

The film was expected to do additional photography months ago but is just expected to do it now in August. While Villeneuve finds supervising the VFX shots and such, in his words, “kind of easy to do from afar,” he has found that editing really requires one to be in the same room as the editor to best coordinate. He adds, "I really miss being in the same room with my editor.” As a result, Villeneuve finds assembling and finishing the film even harder to do in time for the film's anticipated release:

“The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now. It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now. We were allowed to go back to shoot – we’re going back to shoot those elements in a few weeks, [the ones] we were supposed to shoot earlier. It meant that I also had to finish some elements of the movie like VFX and the editing being in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles.”

Dune stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. It is set to hit theaters December 18th.

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