Last month, we reported that Warner Bros.' simultaneous theatrical and streaming release plan for Denis Villeneuve's long-delayed Dune adaptation was reportedly being reconsidered now that audiences have started to return to theaters.
Now, despite a report from Deadline (opens in new tab) earlier today stating that Dune would indeed receive a 45-day theatrical window in the US, WarnerMedia's new head of communications Johanna Fuentes has taken to Twitter to refute the claim, as spotted by IGN (opens in new tab).
In a quoted retweet about Deadline's story, Fuentes stated emphatically that "Dune will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day in the US."
#Dune will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day in the US. (Source: Warner Bros.) https://t.co/SiFpbz0nK2May 17, 2021
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The now discredited shift in release plans was said to be linked to the upcoming merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery (opens in new tab), which will see telecommunications giant AT&T unwind from Time Warner in a deal worth $43 billion.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav will lead the new company, and while it's believed the new leadership will be more "industry-savvy and talent-friendly", that does not appear to extend to Dune's controversial release plan, which has been publicly criticized by the film's director.
"Warner Bros.’ decision means Dune won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph," said Dune director Denis Villeneuve in an open letter to Variety (opens in new tab) late last year.
At present, Dune is still expected to release in theaters and on HBO Max in the US on October 1, 2021.