Actor Kyle MacLachlan understands why Warner Bros. is releasing all its 2021 movies on HBO Max, including the new Dune, the same time they hit theaters, but he isn’t enamored with the idea. MacLachlan, who starred in David Lynch’s 1984 version of Dune, told the Seattle Times that a movie of the new Dune’s size and scale is meant to be seen on the big screen. But he understands that this new strategy of simultaneously releasing movies in theaters and on streaming services may be the future.
“I’m excited to see it,” MacLachlan said. “It’s one of my favorite books and I look forward to seeing what the director Denis Villeneuve does with it. I think the simultaneous release is kind of the wave of the future. It’s disheartening though because a movie like that is meant to be seen on the large screen.”
Dune was the first collaboration MacLachlan worked on with David Lynch. The two also worked together on the film Blue Velvet and the Twin Peaks franchise, including both series and the theatrical film.
MacLachlan is not the first high-profile Hollywood personality to weigh in on this new way of watching movies in 2021. Before this, Tenet director Christopher Nolan slammed HBO Max as the “worst streaming service” after WB announced its plan for simultaneous releases in theaters and for streaming. Adam Wingard, who directed Godzilla vs. Kong, said he was initially “devastated” to learn his movie would come to HBO Max on day one, but he later warmed up to the idea.
For its part, Disney is also adopting this simultaneous strategy for some of its movies, like Marvel’s Black Widow. When the Scarlett Johansson movie premieres in July, it will be available both in theaters and on Disney Plus through its Premiere Access program. Other films, like Soul and the upcoming Luca, don’t require an extra fee.
For what it’s worth, we don’t know if movie studios will continue to release their films under the new simultaneous strategy after the pandemic subsides. Warner Bros. has said it will go back to the theatrical window in 2022, while Disney has said it will respond and react to what consumers want.
As for the new Dune movie, it releases in October with a lot of hype behind it. Villeneuve previously directed the acclaimed sci-fi films Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, while its cast is stacked with big names like Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Jason Momoa, and Stellan Skarsgard.