Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated sci-fi epic Dune is on its way to theaters later this October, but the director acknowledged that a good deal of viewers will be watching the movie on the small screen.

Despite hopes for an exclusive theatrical release, Warner Bros. has continued with its decision to debut Dune on HBO Max at the same time as in theaters. In a recent interview with Total Film, Villeneuve expressed his disappointment in the current release model — although he understands why it needs to be this way.

“First of all, the enemy of cinema is the pandemic. That’s the thing. We understand that the cinema industry is under tremendous pressure right now. That I get,” he said. Despite the loosening of stay-at-home restrictions and the re-opening of movie theaters, many folks still aren’t ready to risk exposure in public spaces including cinemas. That being said, Villeneuve strongly feels that the movie he made is really only suited for the big screen experience.

“The way it happened, I’m still not happy. Frankly, to watch Dune on a television, the best way I can compare it is to drive a speedboat in your bathtub,” Villeneuve explained. “For me, it’s ridiculous. It’s a movie that has been made as a tribute to the big-screen experience.” Villeneuve isn't the only director to express his discontent with a straight-to-streaming strategy — just ask Christopher Nolan after the release of Tenet.

From the looks of the trailer, Dune is an ambitious film with a stellar cast, impressive special effects, and breathtaking scenic shots. It's a shame that many people will be watching it from their TV, laptop, or even iPhone. When the time comes this fall, sci-fi fans will be able to make the call of whether or not they should go to the local movie theater or cozy up with Dune at home.

Dune arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22.

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