Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Is Heading To The Venice Film Festival

Denis Villeneuve’s anticipated Dune remake is heading to the Venice Film Festival, according to our sources.

Speculation has been rife but we hear it’s locked in, barring an unforeseen snafu or Covid issue. We told you as much last week in a wider piece on Warner Bros, but it’s useful to reinforce genuine news when such a big movie gets firmed up for a blue-ribbon event.

Warner Bros, Legendary and Venice were unavailable for comment.

Villeneuve was last on the Lido with his Oscar-winning box office hit Arrival in 2016 and this will be an even hotter ticket.

Cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem. The film’s epic trailer was released last year.

It’s not clear at this stage whether the movie will open the festival, which runs September 1-11. We hear it’s not a guaranteed opener. The film is currently due to launch internationally from beginning in mid-September and in the U.S. on October 1.

Dune, adapted from Frank Herbert’s cult novel, tells the story of Paul Atreides (Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential — only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

There has been plenty of speculation about movies that may or may not be going to the major festivals this year. Most of the movies speculated for Cannes were already expected from last year. Fest chief Thierry Fremaux last month confirmed that Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta would be among movies to grace the Croisette this edition after they were due to alight on the Riviera two years ago.

Uncertainty remains over the in-person status of most of the fall’s major festivals. Cannes in July will act as something of a litmus test for in-person gatherings in 2021 after Venice was the only movie showcase to go ahead physically last fall.