Dune — Possible Trailer Release Date & Answering R-Rating Criticism

All any of us can do is speculate. However, there is a reasonable chance that the Dune trailer will arrive next month, especially more since the actual movie is suppose to come out in exactly 6 months from now. A senior writer of Inside The Film room by the name of Johnny Sobczak has speculated three possible release dates with three possible types of releases:

Tweet Transcript:

July 17: “Exclusive sneak peek” at DUNE in theaters with INCEPTION.

July 22–26: First official trailer drops online via@Comic_Con.

July 31: DUNE trailer will be previewed in theaters with TENET. — Johnny Sobczak

This user has a reputation of receiving correct behind-the-scenes information over the course of his scoops, making his prediction a little more credible.

This is further reinforced by an official press by Warner Bros:

This special anniversary theatrical event will also give audiences a never-before-seen look at footage from Nolan’s highly anticipated film Tenet, which will debut worldwide two weeks later, on July 31. Moviegoers will also be treated to an exclusive sneak peek of select films on Warner Bros.’ upcoming slate.Slashfilm

The above information appear to suggest there is a high likelihood of new Dune promotionals in the upcoming month. As those dates approach, it would be exactly 5 months away from the official release of Dune itself. As long as Tenet isn’t delayed, we can expect the marketing campaign to pick up speed by next month.

Debunking ScreenRant’s Potential R-Rating Criticism

In other news, Screenrant had a published an article titled “How Villeneuve’s Dune Can Avoid Blade Runner 2049’s Box Office Failure”. Whilst they don’t say that the R-rating was an issue in regards to the Blade Runner 2049 Box Office, they do believe the movie should not have been rated as such. Even though I have already covered this, I will analyse their claims:

While Blade Runner 2049’s disappointing performance at the box office cannot be blamed on its R-rating, it stands to reason that giving Dune as broad an audience as possible can only help it.

Dune is not designed for a teenage audience in the first place. It explores the ideas of social engineering, governmental institutions, deconstruction of the chosen-one trope, elements of ecology, environmentalism, messianism, religious fanaticism, feudalistic politics alongside other complex ideas. Furthermore, one of the reasons the original Dune movie flopped was because it was inaccurate to the books, thanks to the meddling by its producers. The Syfy miniseries on the other hand was quite accurate to the books and hence was successful. This naturally made the minseries a mature show too. For this reason, Dune should not be watered down in any way, especially to an audience who will have the least amount of interest in a type of film where it’s mostly dialogue and philosophical-based as opposed to large action epics.

Though most of Denis Villeneuve’s films have received R-ratings, his highest-grossing film to date is Arrival, a science-fiction film rated PG-13 which received eight Academy Awards nominations, including those for Best Picture and Best Director.

This is incorrect. Whilst Arrival might have made slightly more money at the domestic box office, Blade Runner 2049 has generated far more revenue internationally. Arrival generated a Worldwide Box Office of $203,388,186, whilst Blade Runner 2049 generated a Box Office of $259,239,658. And whilst Blade Runner 2049 indeed had a bigger budget, this shows that audiences are in fact willing to watch R-rated films if the story is good. If the story is R-rated, keep it R-Rated. Furthermore, Blade Runner 2049 actually won two Academy Awards with three other nominations, alongside BAFTA awards and nomination. Not sure what the article meant in regards to awards and the age-rating.

Though blockbusters like Deadpool and Joker have shown that R-Rated movies can be box office hits, a lesser-known property like Dune would be better off aiming for a 15 rating or below so as to ensure maximum audience reach.

Like mentioned previously, Dune is not designed for a teenage audience. By making it palatable to such an audience will lead to possible alienation towards hardcore fans of the Dune novel. Sure, it’s definitely possible to avoid a R-rating, but this should not be the reasoning. If the story warrants an R-Rating, then it should not be watered down. Also, Dune itself is a somewhat well-known science-fiction novel, definitely bigger than Blade Runner, so there’s already an advantage as evident with the large amount of hype already there towards the project. If the marketing is a success, the project will be a success. Besides, R-Rated films in America are typically translated to the age 15 certification in the U.K anyway, so this should not be as an issue in other parts of the world.

David Lynch’s 1984 version was PG-13, so one could assume that Dune can work well without alienating younger and family audiences.

Denis Villeneuve has previously stated there will be no link between his movie and the David Lynch version. Judging by the Vanity Fair images and the insider rumours, only the aesthetics of the Lynch film were used. Everything else is completely separated. Expect a totally different movie.

Blade Runner 2049’s rating also put it in direct competition with blockbusters like It, American Assassin, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which slashed deep into the movie’s ticket sales.

The reason Blade Runner 2049 failed was because of a bad marketing campaign. People did not really know what the movie was about and majority of the mainstream audience weren’t that much aware of the movie itself and were also not familiar with the prequel. On the other hand, Dune is WAY more popular than the original Blade Runner ever was. This means the name “Dune” alone would attract a decent amount of people. The name ‘Denis Villeneuve’ will attract even more. The big-stacked cast will attract even more. With a successful marketing campaign, there’s no reason why Dune should not generate a lot of revenue. If another book adaptation in that list, It, managed to generate a lot of revenue (to become the fifth highest grossing R-Rated film of all time), then Dune can too and even surpass it.

Villeneuve has made no mention of an intended rating for Dune, only teasing that his movie will be like “Star Wars for adults”. This could mean more explicit and mature content, but there is no way of knowing what rating it will receive until the film is screened and graded by the Motion Picture Association of America.

If the film was granted a PG-13 rating, parents might still be reluctant to allow their children to watch any film in the cinema due to the virus situation. The course of events can change drastically over the next 6 months, but as a whole, PG-13 itself will not have a significant financial impact. Blade Runner 2049 had been described as the greatest sequel ever made and thus it stands to reason that Denis Villeneuve’s vision will be the best adaption of the novel so far.

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Denis Villeneuve with a Sandworm

With a great director who is extremely passionate about the project and his history of great cinematic movies combined with a decent marketing campaign, this could be one of the best movies ever made. It’s a risk worth-taking with an R-rating.

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Writer. Reader of Novels. Video Gamer. Documentary Watcher. Tech nerd.

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