In a blow to cinema chains and film enthusiasts, Warner Bros has announced the delay of the highly anticipated “Dune” sequel until March. This decision comes as a result of the ongoing Hollywood actors’ strike, which prevents the film’s stars from promoting the movie. With “Dune” being one of the most anticipated films on the late 2023 schedule, this delay is significant for both the studio and the recovering cinema industry. Additionally, this delay has caused a ripple effect, leading to the rescheduling of other films such as “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” and an animated “Lord of the Rings” film.
“Dune: Part Two,” starring Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet, is a sci-fi sequel based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, depicting an intergalactic battle for control over a valuable resource. The first installment of the franchise was released in 2021 during the pandemic and generated $402 million at the global box office. However, with the ongoing actors’ strike, top stars have refused to promote their upcoming projects, forcing studios like Warner Bros to adjust their film schedules. This disruption in promotional activities, such as red carpet appearances and talk show appearances, has made it challenging for studios to generate buzz around their films.
Warner Bros’ decision to delay “Dune: Part Two” is a setback for cinema chains that are still trying to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This delay, along with the rescheduling of other films, adds to the challenges faced by the industry. Other major films scheduled for release in 2023 include Disney’s “The Marvels,” a Lionsgate prequel to “The Hunger Games,” and Warner Bros’ “Wonka,” which also features Timothée Chalamet. As the strike by the Writers Guild of America continues to impact the film industry, with most scripted television shows and some movie shoots being shut down, the overall moviegoing experience remains below pre-pandemic levels, despite recent successes like “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”