Warner Bros pushes release of Dune: Part II into 2024

Dune Part Two
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New Dune and Lord Of The Rings films are pushed back by Warner Bros, as ongoing strike action continues to bite.

We’ve been wondering for a while if and when this might happen, but it has now been confirmed that Warner Bros have opted to push the release of Dune: Part II from November into March of next year.

The film takes the slot of Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire which moves to April 2024. The latter film is taking the date reserved for the upcoming animated feature, Lord Of The Rings The War of Rohirrim which finds itself being pushed all the way back to December of 2024.

We’ve seen Sony and Disney push films back already as the ongoing actors’ strike continues and studios are forced to consider the potential ramifications of releasing movies without stars to publicise them. However, nothing of the size of Dune: Part II has yet been delayed so it will be very interesting to see how other studios respond in the wake of this move.

It’s worth noting that Warner Bros hasn’t delayed Wonka, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom or The Color Purple, all of which are set to release in December, the month after Dune: Part II was set to debut. The current consensus seems to be that rather than following suit and delaying the release of The Marvels, Disney might actually bring the Marvel Studios film forward slightly to take advantage of the available premium format screens that will now be vacant.

We saw with the recent Hollywood power struggle over IMAX screens (that accompanied the release of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 and Oppenheimer) just how vital the extra revenue from a sustained run on premium screens can be. Of course, that’s something that Warner Bros will have been considering carefully too. Dune: Part II’s November release was booked in for a prolonged IMAX run of 6-8 weeks: whether it can secure the same lengthy window for its new March 2024 release remains to be seen.

Legendary Entertainment co-financed Dune: Part II alongside Warner Bros and the film’s delay might have something to do with that company’s influence too. If you recall, during the pandemic the relationship between the two companies soured following Warner Bros’ unilateral decision to release its annual slate of movies straight onto streaming, even Dune and Godzilla Vs Kong which were collaborations with Legendary. It all led to plenty of acrimony and we’d imagine that Warner Bros might be keen to avoid once more earning the ire of such a valuable partner now that all seems to be well again.

How this news impacts other studios’ release plans will be interesting to see. Certainly, we can see the wisdom in wanting to harness the star power of Dune: Part II's cast which includes Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, Austin Butler, Léa Seydoux, Souheila Yacoub, Tim Blake Nelson, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista and Stellan Skarsgard. That is quite the cast. We’ll bring you more updates on this one as we hear it.

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