Will the ‘Dune’ cast be on HBO Max in 2021? Learn the latest setback
Legendary Entertainment & Warner Bros. are in headlines for a dramatic screening decision. Warner Bros. is receiving backlash for releasing its entire 2021 lineup, including Dune & Godzilla vs. Kong to HBO Max on the same day as their cinema debuts. Their decision may trigger Legendary Entertainment to sue Warner Bros.
On December 4th, Warner Bros. Pictures posted a video of their upcoming films & release dates for the new year, including DC’s latest addition, Wonder Woman 1984. Most notably, they announced these films would be released on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day.
However, Warner Bros.’ longtime co-producer Legendary Entertainment wasn’t happy with Warner Bros.’ announcement because they were allegedly left out of the decision.
Legendary Entertainment has spent approximately $175 million on Dune and $160 million on Godzilla vs Kong. These two high-budgeted films were part of Warner Bros.’ list of films going to HBO Max’s online streaming platform for 2021. The seventeen films being sent to HBO Max include Mortal Kombat, The Little Things, In the Heights and Elvis.
According to Deadline, Legendary Entertainment was disappointed with Warner Bros.’ decision because they believed it could potentially ruin the “the long term viability of the franchises”. Legendary is also concerned about turning a profit. Per Deadline, “provided 75 percent of the $165 million or so net budget of Dune.”
However, Warner Bros. is believed to have made the decision due to “exhibitors trading bankruptcy” and needed a “finite resource” to present their films. That’s industry-speak for the uncertain future of movie theaters in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legendary Entertainment is negotiating with Warner Bros. to either remove Dune and Godzilla vs Kong from the HBO Max deal or to change the set release dates. These two production companies have worked closely with one another for many years and Variety reported the companies have a history of successful films such as The Dark Knight trilogy and the current Godzilla franchise.
Variety also reported that Legendary Entertainment was kept in the dark by Warner Bros. They also reported Legendary Entertainment had no say in whether Dune & Godzilla vs Kong were screened in theaters or on a streaming service. The success of the films were placed into Warner Bros.’ hands and the decision for the corresponding release dates were a big surprise.
Through negotiations, Warner Bros. may consider buying Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong from Legendary Entertainment. According to Republic World, Legendary Entertainment will take legal action if no compromise is made. A compromise may end with a breach of contract and a tear between the company’s long standing friendship.
As tricky as the situation may be, Legendary Entertainment may have a case as Warner Bros. allegedly hasn’t been transparent about the plan to stream Dune & Godzilla vs Kong. According to Variety, Netflix had their eye on Godzilla vs Kong for quite some time and tried to buy the film for a whopping $250 million. Per Variety, Warner Bros.’ parent company, Time Warner, blocked the sale.
The director of Dune, Denis Villeneuve, has been concerned with Warner Bros.’ plan and like many directors, hoped for the film’s cinematic release. Dune costar’s Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, and recent Golden Globe winner Zendaya haven’t commented on the future of their action film.
Fans originally thought Dune would be played in theaters nationwide, but with new negotiations taking place between Legendary Entertainment & Warner Bros., the future of both Dune & Godzilla vs Kong for 2021 is far from certain. Legendary Entertainment & Warner Bros. haven’t commented on the recent setback.
According to Warner Bros.’ post on Instagram, viewers can expect to see Godzilla vs Kong on May 21st, 2021 and Dune on October 1st 2021 on HBO Max and in theaters. Let us know in the comments below if you will watch these films in cinemas or online.