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‘Dune’ release delayed to October 2021

By Kara Santos Published Oct 06, 2020 5:24 am

It looks like fans will have to wait a whole year to see Paul Atreides face off with monstrous sandworms on planet Arrakis. 

Dune, the highly-anticipated science fiction film adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel, is the latest movie to be hit by pandemic-caused delays. Previously slated for a theatrical release on December 18, 2020, the film is now expected to debut in theatres on October 1, 2021.

The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049), stars Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin and Zendaya. It’s the first of a planned two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, and will cover roughly the first half of the book.

The decision for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures to delay the release date on the big-budget epic was expected after the studio pushed Wonder Woman 1984 back from early October to Christmas Day, putting the comic book sequel's big-screen debut one week ahead of Dune.

At one point, it was scheduled to be released in November, before being reshuffled several more times amid the coronavirus crisis. It was one of many anticipated films shelved as a result of enforced movie theater closures in March due to the pandemic.

News of Dune’s delay also comes days after James Bond sequel No Time to Die was pushed back to 2021 instead of November this year. That decision has caused Regal, the second-largest movie chain in the US, to temporarily close down its venues after reopening in August.

Movie theatres are facing an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape as the rising rates of coronavirus infections prompt new restrictions that have kept moviegoers away from cinemas.

(Image from Warner Bros.)