Legendary Pictures, the studio that helped produce the 2021 remake of the classic science fiction film Dune from 1984, have threatened to take legal action against Warner Bros. Studios if they send the movie directly to the HBO Max streaming service. This has taken place a few weeks after it was announced that Warner Bros would be sending all of their upcoming films that were set to be released in 2021 to HBO Max, a move that most filmmakers of the movies from Warner Bros’ 2021 library voiced their strong disapproval of.

Warner Bros. originally decided to send Dune and all of the other films that were supposed to be released in 2021 to HBO Max due to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic was constantly causing the films in 2020 to be delayed a few months or pushed back into the next year. When the movie studio decided to simultaneously release Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max and in theaters, it was not long before they made that decision for the other movies. The filmmakers that criticized this decision included Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins, Judd Apatow and most importantly Dennis Villeneuve, the director of Dune. Legendary Pictures stated that they were completely blindsided by the announcement and unaware that Warner Bros. was planning to do this.

Villeneuve has said that Dune was meant to be seen on the big screen and the company’s decision will result in a massive financial loss for the movie. “Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of Dune’s scope and scale. Warner Bros.’ decision means Dune won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph,” he said. “My team and I devoted more than three years of our lives to make it a unique big screen experience. Our movie’s image and sound were meticulously designed to be seen in theaters.”

It is unclear if HBO Max will listen to Villeneuve’s reasoning, but it is highly likely that Legendary Pictures will go through with their lawsuit if Dune is released on HBO Max before it is put in theaters.

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