“I think that we underestimate audiences at our peril,” says Helen O’Hara. “I think that something like Dune has sold in book form for decades, and there’s a reason for that. They’re probably right to throw the dice and see how well a faithful film version does… Why did we get the idea that there has to be loads of gags in a sci-fi movie, you know? It can’t all just be Guardians of the Galaxy, there has to be room for other stories as well. I do genuinely think there’s an audience for this. It might not be Avengers Endgame-sized audiences, but it is a big enough audience, potentially, long-term, to keep this movie going.”
And even if Dune doesn’t succeed, adds O’Hara, the fact that filmmakers like Denis Villeneuve exist, and that they’re still being given the chances to make big risky movies within the major studio system, is at least something to be grateful for.
“It gives me hope,” she says. “The fact that a studio invested this much money in him, and his next film after Blade Runner was not a huge hit – I think that is a really good thing. That’s what we want to see. We want to see good directors get multiple chances, especially if they make a good film that just doesn’t do well at the box office. We want to see them get a follow-up film. I think it says good things that he’s getting to make this, and I really, really hope it does well enough that he gets to make part two.”
After all, it is not like Denis Villeneuve to leave a circle incomplete.
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