Dune is a three-year-plus battle long-fought, and well won by Denis Villeneuve, even if he was boxed out of the Best Director category at the Oscars.
After publicly blasting WarnerMedia over its decision to go theatrical day-and-date with Dune on HBO Max during the pandemic, and then reconciling with the studio on a dynamic release, the director’s sci-fi adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel has landed ten Oscar nominations this morning, including Best Picture, making it the only blockbuster movie to crack the category’s top ten films this year.
To date, Dune has grossed close to $400M worldwide, $107.7M of that in U.S./Canada. Warners is planning to re-release Dune in 300-500 theaters this weekend. Dune returns to HBO Max on March 10 just before final voting which takes place March 17-22 with the ceremony on March 27.
Dune‘s ten Oscar noms is the most ever for financier and producer Legendary Entertainment, and the same number as Warner’s Mad Max Fury Road, another beloved big grossing Oscar Picture nominee, which took home 6 trophies and counted a $375.6M global gross.
Even though Villeneuve was snubbed in Oscar’s Best Director category which includes Steven Spielberg (West Side Story), Jane Campion (Power of the Dog), Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), and Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), Villeneuve received an Adapted Screenplay nod for Dune, shared with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth, and a Best Picture nomination which the Canadian filmmakers is sharing with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter. Villeneuve is in the running for Dune at the DGA awards.
Dune was also nominated for Cinematography, Production Design, Editing, Costume Design, Make-up/hairstyling, Original Score, VFX, and Sound. Similar to Mad Max: Fury Road, Dune did not receive any acting nominations.
“Dune’s acknowledgement this morning by AMPAS is a fantastic milestone for not only Legendary Entertainment but also for the filmmakers, actors, crafts persons and crew that made this amazing accomplishment possible,” said Legendary CEO Josh Grode in a statement. “We could not be prouder of this film, and its success continues to validate our strategy of developing, producing, financing and distributing motion picture and TV IP across multiple platforms.”
Added Parent, Legendary’s Chairman of Worldwide Production, “Denis and the entire cast and crew brought to life an incredibly rich world, with characters and a story that was crafted at the highest technical levels but also provided audiences with an entertainment journey into a world rich with possibilities and relevant themes reflecting today’s global society. All of this would not have been possible without author Frank Herbert and the tireless support of his estate. We could not be prouder.”
Still, with Villeneuve priming to shoot a sequel this summer covering the second half of Herbert’s classic, one that’s primed for exclusive theatrical release on Oct. 20, 2023, as well as today’s windfall of Oscar noms, you have to say that Warner Bros. has expressed an absolute love of cinema here for Dune.
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