Zhao said Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” gives her hope about the future of the cinematic medium.
Denis Villeneuve’s highly-anticipated “Dune” adaptation is set to world premiere September 3 at the Venice Film Festival before its October release date, but the movie already has at least one high-profile fan in Chloé Zhao. During an interview for the September 2021 issue of Sight & Sound magazine, Zhao revealed she had just come from an early screening of Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic. The magazine asked the “Nomadland” Oscar winner her thoughts on the future of the cinematic medium, to which she referenced “Dune.”
As reported by Sight & Sound: “Zhao seems well positioned to comment on where on earth — or elsewhere — the medium might be heading. Not that she’s at all decided on the matter. ‘I’m both really hopeful and also really terrified,’ she says, ‘so it varies every day.’ The day we speak, she’s on the hopeful end. She’s just come from an early screening of Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi spectacle ‘Dune,’ and it has her feeling pretty bullish on the current state of cinema — artistically, at least.”
“It gives me hope that a filmmaker like Denis is able to really harness his vision and put together something that’s so incredible, so cinematic,” Zhao told the magazine. “I’m just blown away by the experience I had in that room. But I’m terrified about how many people are or aren’t going to have that experience like I did, in a theatre, and what that means for the future.”
Warner Bros. is opening “Dune” in theaters October 22, and it will be available to stream starting the same day on HBO Max. Zhao is clearly on the side of debate arguing against streaming “Dune,” as is Villeneuve himself. After Warner Bros. announced last December it was moving its entire 2021 theatrical slate to the hybrid theaters-HBO Max release model, Villeneuve penned an essay bashing the decision.