In an interview done for the virtual Shanghai International Film Festival, Blade Runner 2049 and upcoming Dune director Denis Villeneuve explained some details of the shoot for the mega-scale film, and how the COVID-19 pandemic seriously disrupted its production. He notes how the movie was split up into two halves of production, with one half finishing before the pandemic hit in March: “The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now. It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now. We were allowed to go back to shoot – we’re going back to shoot those elements in a few weeks, [the ones] we were supposed to shoot earlier. It meant that I also had to finish some elements of the movie like VFX and the editing being in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles.”
Villeneuve also talks about his struggles working remotely with his editor: “… for me the big lesson of this is I thought that it would be possible to edit at a distance having my editor [Joe Walker] sharing with computers, being far from one another, but I realize how much editing is like playing music with someone and you need to be in the same room. I mean there’s something about the interaction, human interaction, spontaneity, the energy in the room. I really miss not being in the same room with my editor.”
While Dune is certainly not the only project that faced major production difficulties due to the pandemic, it is certainly among the most highly-esteemed. Dune is set to star Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Oscar Isaac, and plenty more. Due to Villenueve’s resumé and its loaded cast, Dune is set to be one of, if not the most anticapated films of the year.
Dune is the latest remake of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel of the same name. It is still tentatively slated to be released on December 18, 2020.