With Warner Bros. other big release of the year, Tenet, doing it’s dance around release schedules all summer it was easy to overlook Dune. It quietly sat there, in the background, with it’s December release date creeping ever closer as Tenet was the center of attention. It had no apparent drama and was not talking of moving.

Supposedly the first movie in a two-movie adaption of the classic sci-fi novel, it had completed the majority of it’s filming before the COVID closures. However a second bout of filming was planned before the shutdown hit.

In conversation with IndieWire, director Denis Villeneuve has now admitted that he now faces a real race to get the movie finished, due to this filming method:

“We were about to finish some shooting… the movie was like almost finished. Dune has been made in an unusual way which is that we made the main shooting, and then I edited that part of the movie and I was planning to go back to shoot some elements later because I wanted to readjust the movie – I needed time, and it’s a luxury that I had [before the pandemic]… When the virus hit North America as we were about to go back to do those elements.

The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now. It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now. We were allowed to go back to shoot – we’re going back to shoot those elements in a few weeks, [the ones] we were supposed to shoot earlier. It meant that I also had to finish some elements of the movie like VFX and the editing being in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles.”

He spoke about his comfort at dealing with VFX shots remotely, but he says remote editing is a stuggle.

“[editing really needs to] “be in the same room. I really miss not being in the same room with my editor.”

December 18th remains the booked date.  Tick-tock, tick-tock!

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