Warner Bros had just made a huge move when they announced that their entire 2021 slate including The Suicide Squad and Dune would be moving to HBO Max next year. While we don’t know the exact ramifications of the release model, one studio is not pleased with WB—Legendary Entertainment.
According to Deadline, Legendary will be sending ‘legal letters to Warner Bros’ for striking a deal with HBO Max and not informing Legendary about it until shortly before the announcement. Netflix was even said to have offered to release Dune for $250 million, but WarnerMedia had blocked it; and now everything is planning to release on HBO.
Legendary certainly has the right to challenge WB with its decision, seeing as it provided 75 percent of the total budget of Dune; and not just Dune, but Godzilla vs. Kong as well. With Dune expected to be another Star Wars-level franchise for the studio, you would expect there to be a lot more negotiations when it came to releasing.
We don’t know if this release model with HBO Max will work down the line, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Ever since the pandemic, studios have been trying out new models that will get movies out there without having to gather audiences in theaters. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s Mulan have suffered these release models, and this Christmas we’ll have to see how Wonder Woman 1984 deals with its release on HBO Max and theaters on the same day.
Dune is currently set to come out on October 1, 2021.