Dune is expected air earlier than expected from its current 1st October 2021 release. It will arrive soon rather than later. There are various reasons for this, alongside an implication from a credible source that this in fact will be the case. I will first explain the rationale before discussing the implications of the source.
I have previously explained why Dune is expected to arrive beforehand. I will briefly reiterate and reinforce what I’ve wrote:
- Dune was suppose to arrive on 18th December 2020. Waiting until 1st October 2021 will destroy the hype, especially after it easily surpassed the trailer viewings for both Robert Patterson’s Batman and Wonder Woman 1984 (scroll down to popularity).
- The theatres are not expected to generate pre-pandemic levels of revenue anytime soon, even in a post-pandemic world.
- This is also significantly due to Warner Bros’ simultaneous strategy, where a significant people will opt to watch on the HBO Max service as opposed to travelling towards the cinemas.
- Warner Brothers are now prioritizing their streaming service over the theatrical experience. This means they can pick and choose which ever release date they want.
- The operating costs of cinemas are too high to maintain. The smallest reduction in revenue, which is expected to carry on into the next year, will lead to the death of the big cinemas as a consequence.
- Some cinemas might choose to not air Warner Bros films in retaliation of their simultaneous strategy. I have covered their responses in a similar article.
- I introduced Dune to two of my friends recently. They are both intrigued and interested in the movie now, but both believe that October 2021 is a long way off. They will probably lose interest by that time. I imagine a similar scenario with everybody else.
For all of the above reasons, there is exactly no reason to keep the current Dune release date. As Warner Bros will now be using HBO Max to premier their content, they can easily pull back the release to an earlier date to maintain a sustained hype.
But, will it actually happen?
I contacted Midnight’s Edge a few hours prior to the writing of the article. We briefly discussed the possibility of an earlier release for Dune. This is the same channel which previously predicted that Wonder Woman 1984 will air simultaneously on HBO Max and on theatres at the same time. They also said the exact same thing for Dune. I have followed them for a long time now and their scoops have always been credible. They also discussed the possibly of ‘No Time To Die’ having a similar scenario. So, what did they say in regards to Dune?
They believe that Dune will indeed arrive earlier than expected. I asked them whether this was just speculation or if they possessed any actual information which implied such. They said ‘Yes’ ‘to both’. Due to the fact they have been accurate previously, this makes it almost certain that Dune will indeed arrive early.
Actual Release Date
This leads to the next and ultimate question: When will it actually release? The reshoots are long complete and the movie is likely more or less ready to air. This means Warner Bros will want to release the highly anticipated film as soon as possible. I speculate it will arrive in the first quarter of 2021.
I have listed the release schedule of the Warner Bros films on my “HBO Max Film Releases” article. This information was based on the Deadline article, which had a list of the films and their subsequent releases at the bottom of the page. Here is the catch: At the time of writing of this article, the release schedule appears to have been removed. Is there a massive reshuffle taking place, or a technical glitch?
Originally, ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘The Little Things’ were listed for 15th January 2021 and 29th January 2021 respectively. There were no releases for February 2021, followed by two releases on March 2021. If this is still accurate, even though there is no trailer for Mortal Kombat yet, Dune can either arrive on early January 2021 or during February 2021.
The latter date will definitely fill in the gap of the empty month and encourage people to keep their HBO Max subscription. Of course, I would prefer the former date to watch it as soon as possible!
I only wish HBO Max was available in the U.K.
Please bear in mind that this is not an official confirmation of an earlier release. However, I strongly believe based on the above information, that this is more than likely the case. Perhaps Warner Bros will announce the new release soon.
In meantime, the “2021s Dune — The Story and Everything You Need To Know” article will cover everything essential in regards to the book/movie in anticipation of the upcoming premiere.
Update (07/12/2020, 13:20 GMT) — I noticed that at the bottom left corner of the official HBO Max 2021 Film Slate preview, it says “Films and Release Dates Subject To Change”.. This is pretty much almost a confirmation of Dune premiering earlier than later:
Update (08/12/2020, 13:00 GMT) — Legendary, the production company behind Dune, has attempted to sue Warner Bros for trying to push the film to HBO Max without their consent. However, the legal action is baseless: A credible insider source (via Robert Myers Burnett) has stated that Warner Bros has the full distribution rights to the movie. They would only need permission from Legendary to alter the release date. The lack of communication was because Legendary were indirectly responsible for making Warner Bros release Tenet in the date they did because they refused to move Dune to a 2021 release when Warner Bros wanted to release Tenet on Christmas. Christopher Nolan had a contract that his movie should not air 6 weeks wtihin another Warner Bros film. This eventually forced Warner Bros to release Tenet early in theatres, which was domestically unsuccessful. Hopefully, Legendary will agree to pull Dune to an earlier release date as HBO Max will significantly increase the chances of success in the current Dune-hyped world. Otherwise, the outcome of the movie will be in doubt.