Courtesy of Warner Bros.
A sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic “Dune” may be riding the sandworm until 2024.
Amid two contentious Hollywood labor strikes, Warner Bros. Film Group is seriously considering pushing the Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya tentpole from its current Nov. 3 slot to next year, three people familiar with the discussions said. Variety. An insider said that since the film is being produced in association with Legendary Entertainment, both parties will have to agree on a new release date. Legendary has yet to be approached by WB about a move, they added. Another source familiar with Warner Bros. noted that releases are moving forward as originally planned and that no formal discussions have taken place, but that the duration of the union battles is completely unpredictable.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment spokespeople declined to comment on the matter.
Additionally, Warner Bros. is evaluating potential new dates for the Oprah Winfrey-produced “The Color Purple,” as well as DC Studios’ sequel “Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom,” sources said. The date change is made possible as a result of SAG-AFTRA unions SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America battling over new contracts with show business producers.
A movie like “Dune 2” would benefit greatly from the participation of its all-star cast — which includes Austin Butler, Florence Buck, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin — and current union restrictions say those actors can’t promote past or future work produced and released by companies struck by those actors.
Warners is looking ahead, indicating the studio doesn’t believe the guild strike will be resolved by mid-fall. “The Color Purple” and “Aquaman” sequels are currently scheduled for December 20 and December 25 respectively. An industry insider noted that a title like “The Color Purple” would make for a strong awards campaign. Campaigns for the Academy Awards and Golden Globes could be disrupted by the prolonged strike.
Warner Bros. certainly isn’t the only studio in town scaling the release calendar. Disney’s “The Marvels” on Nov. 10 and Lionsgate’s franchise reboot “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” on Nov. 17 are among the major films in the same corridor as the “Doon” sequel. 22, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Joaquin Phoenix.