Dune viewers risk diluted experience if they watch at home, director warns

Co-stars Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya were joined by French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve at a special London screening.

Dune director Denis Villeneuve has warned viewers risk a “diluted experience” if they watch his film at home.

The French Canadian filmmaker, whose credits include Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, said the science fiction epic based on Frank Herbert’s beloved 1965 novel had been made for the “theatrical experience”.

The feature is released in UK cinemas on October 21 but will also be available on streaming service HBO Max.

Dune screening – London
Director Denis Villeneuve and his wife, executive producer Tanya Lapointe (Ian West/PA)

Speaking at a special screening in London’s Leicester Square, he was asked whether he would prefer viewers to experience Dune in the movie theatre.

Villeneuve, 54, told the PA news agency: “Of course. Where it is safe, where people can go in theatres safely, of course I would rather for them to go in theatre because the movie has been made for a theatrical experience.

“You can watch it on the TV but you will have a diluted experience.

“That is my wish where it is possible.”

A childhood fan of the original book, Villeneuve said it was “kind of crazy” he had been able to adapt the source material for the big screen.

He added: “I still have to pinch myself to think that we are here showing the movie in London finally in a theatre in front of an audience – a full-packed theatre. That is paradise. Finally we go back to theatres safely.

Dune screening – London
Jason Momoa, Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya (Ian West/PA)

“The main thing was to please myself – the hardcore fan I was as a teen myself.

“But what was even more challenging was as much as I wanted to take care of the fans of the book, I wanted also to take care of the people who never read the book.

“You don’t need to read the book to watch the movie. That was the most important thing.”

He was joined on the red carpet by co-stars Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya.

He said of their chemistry: “It is very different from here. They are very humble, professional, easy going, lovely human beings. Here we see the stardom but on set they are professional actors.”

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