Directors must love to work with Jason Momoa as he is all for that directorial vision. One of the loudest voices when it comes to not cutting a movie too much even if it means a 4-hour long film, is the Aquaman actor. Now, he is brining that mentality to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and the film hasn’t even been released yet.
Dune is based on the 1965 sci-fi classic novel by Frank Herbert. The book is considered to be one of the best of all time and one attempt was made to turn it into a film series, back in the 1980s. While the film was not a success, the book itself has not lost its charm and allure with time. It is as important a literary piece now as it was 50 years ago.
Following political intrigue, a unique world with a built-in environment that Frank Herbert created over a 5-year period, and some recognizable characters make Dune an interesting candidate for adaptation. But the same sprawling world makes it hard to adapt it into a single movie, a difficult task. That is why Denis Villeneuve wanted to make two movies from the first book. And Jason Momoa wants to preserve that vision by asking Warner Bros. to release all the footage they shot for the film.
Jason Momoa Talks Denis Villeneuve’s 4-to-6 Hour Long Dune Cut
Warner Bros. got the rights to Dune and wanted to make a movie based on the book. Instead of hiring a sci-fi director, WB went to Denis Villeneuve, a Canadian filmmaker who had probably the most successful critical acclaim decade in the 2010s. Not only a critical darling, Denis went on to garner the love of fans.
He was handed the reigns of Dune but the director had one condition, he would be allowed to split the book into two movies. And for those rolling their eyes, this is not some YA split the final book to generate more revenue type of situation. The book is a large one with a lot of intricate details that need to be introduced for a proper understanding of the world of Arrakis.
We heard before from the writers of the movie that the book is split exactly in half. Still, it appears Denis shot almost two movie worth of footage for the first film. According to Jason Momoa, a 4-to-6 hour cut of Dune is possible if all the footage shot for the movie is kept intact. This is not something unique, most directors shoot a lot of footage and entrust their editor to be true to their vision.
But that does not mean all the footage can be shown to the public. If the raw footage is 6 hours long, then maybe a 4-hour cut can be made. It is an interesting idea, however, releasing the director’s cut in a limited series type fashion. Quentin Tarantino made a similar move with The Hateful Eight director’s cut. There are four 50+ minutes episodes of the movie you can watch on Netflix.
Regarding Denis’ vision, the Duncan Idaho actor told The New York Times, “It was a cool movie. You know what they need to do? They need to make the four-to-six-hour version of the first half. It’s like, ‘Let’s watch the four-to-five-hour movie like a TV show; I can choose when I want to watch the whole thing.’ I want to see Denis’s whole vision. I don’t want it to be trimmed.”
Denis Villeneuve has previously contemplated splitting his movies based on the amount of footage they shot. According to the director’s long time editor Joe Walker, a 4-hour cut of Blade Runner 2049 was possible. They were even interested in talking with Warner Bros. to release it as two parts, but the director thought the production house would allow them, which is why the 2 hour 40 minutes cut exists.
It does appear Denis has a lot of clout with WB considering they agreed to split the book by Frank Herbert into two movies. He could use that clout to one day release a director’s cut if a sequel is not made. Also, this would not be Jason’s first fight to get a director’s vision fully realized (he was one of the vocal proponents of the fight to get the Snyder Cut released).
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