Dune is seemingly doing good business in a pandemic ravaged cinema landscape. The old rules are out the window regarding what is viewed as a success. With theaters closed in several key territories, day-and-date release strategies, or reduced theater windows in place for streaming options, and customers still reluctant in some sectors to return, new yardsticks are needed.
Sunk costs, accruing interest on the shelves in a studio vault, need to be addressed and the only way to do that is to get the product, and therefore cash flow, moving again. Then you can move through the gears to streaming sales, home media, and even television rights to claw back those sunk costs while still hitting contractual obligations around things like product placing.
Another thing you can do in this landscape is strike while the iron is hot and try to find a way to get people back to the theater to watch the movie again. One tool in this armory is the Director’s Cut.
Even at 2.5 hours long and only telling the first third to half of the novel there was still a rumor that there was more, much more shot for Dune. Star Jason Momoa actually came out and seemed to be starting a campaign for a Dune: Director’s Cut.
Chatter online turned to a five-hour version with deep, deep detail and whole scenes to be reinserted. There is one problem with this. According to the director himself, it’s all horseh*t. In an interview with NME, Denis Villeneuve delivered a hammer blow to these hopes:
“I love Jason but such a thing doesn’t exist! The Director’s Cut is what people are watching in theatres right now. There will be no other cut. Yes, I could have made a much longer, more contemplative movie, but that was not the plan.”
So no Zack Snyder’s Justice League treatment for Dune. So all our hopes now rest in the sequel. Warner Bros. executives made some hopeful noises but so far nothing is confirmed.
Maybe the letter-writing little scamps on the internet who made AT&T sit up and take notice regarding the Snyder Cut can focus their efforts on a sequel rather than a mythical Dune: Directors Cut?