Denis Villeneuve Dune AT&T HBO Max Warner Bros

Denis Villeneuve slams decision to stream Warner Bros films on HBO Max

“There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here.”

Montreal director Denis Villeneuve wrote a scathing editorial for Variety today slamming AT&T for making the decision to stream all 2021 films by its subsidiary Warner Bros on HBO Max at the same time as their theatrical releases in the U.S. — among them his forthcoming epic Dune, which was supposed to have come out this month but has been pushed to Oct. 2021.

Villeneuve accused AT&T of “(hijacking) one of the most respectable and important studios in film history” (Warner Bros) to save its failing streaming service (HBO Max), also pointing out that the telecom company is $150-million in debt.

“There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here. It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth… Even though Dune is about cinema and audiences, AT&T is about its own survival on Wall Street.”

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Villeneuve didn’t hide his disdain for Warner Bros either:

“Warner Bros.’ sudden reversal from being a legacy home for filmmakers to the new era of complete disregard draws a clear line for me. Filmmaking is a collaboration, reliant on the mutual trust of team work and Warner Bros. has declared they are no longer on the same team.

“Dune is by far the best movie I’ve ever made. My team and I devoted more than three years of our lives to make it a unique big screen experience. Our movie’s image and sound were meticulously designed to be seen in theaters. Warner Bros. might just have killed the Dune franchise.” 

To read the full editorial, please click here.

For more film coverage, please visit the Film & TV section.