Variety’s podcast Awards Circuit spoke with Dennis Villeneuve about Dune’s Oscar nominations as well as its sequel
Something that has drawn a lot of attention this year is the fact that Dennis Villeneuve will be left out of the Oscar nominations for Dune, even more so when his film has 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. Question for which the podcast of Variety, Awards Circuitasked the director of the film, to which he replied:
“It’s better to be in that position than the opposite. I’d rather people say you should have been there instead of ‘what the hell are you doing there?’ I’m not making movies to get award recognition. If you do that, you are not walking on the right path. I make cinema because I love the art form of cinema. I love making movies. If you had told me a year ago that we would get 10 nominations, including best picture, I would have laughed and said: You’re crazy.
Villeneuve has also praised his film’s technical team, who are nominated for all technical categories at the Oscars, making it the sixth film in history to accomplish such a feat. The filmmaker has also spoken about two other projects that he has pending, including Rendezvous with Ramawho calls Arrival’ on steroids, and the new version of Cleopatra. He has also shared that he wants Adam McKay to write a black comedy for him to direct and the possibility of wanting to do a French-Canadian musical.
Controversy over the pre-recording of some categories at the Oscars
Variety addressed with the director the controversial decision by the Academy that several major categories not be presented live during this year’s telecast in order to provide a more streamlined and television-friendly experience. The prizes that will be awarded before the ceremony are for documentary short film, editing, makeup and hairdressing, original score, production design, animated short film, live action short film and sound.
“When people talk about ‘technical’ awards, they’re not ‘technical’, they’re artistic. Sound design is an art form. Montage is the most important art form in cinema. It’s about art. So the beauty of the Academy Awards is putting the spotlight on people who work in the shadows. I thought it was a sad decision. I think the baby was thrown out with the bath water. I understand that they are under tremendous pressure. I understand that the Oscars are, in a way, victims of the fact that broadcast television is slowly fading away. But you can not [alejarte] of the nature of the Academy Awards to get more people to see them. It should be a show where every art form is celebrated, and I think that’s an unfortunate decision.”
Dennis Villeneuve also addresses in the interview rumors that Oscar nominee Florence Pugh (black widow) will join the cast of Dunes 2 as princess Irulan and daughter of the emperor, to which he replied that “things are not solidified”, confirming that there are or have been negotiations but that they have not yet materialized. However, it is a “great admirer of Florence”.
Regarding Zendaya, who played Chani and had a minor role in her movie, she said: “For Zendaya, I will say that the first part was a promise. I know we saw a glimpse of her in the first part, but in the second part she will have a prominent role. We will follow Timothée [Chalamet] and Zendaya on her adventures in the desert. That’s what excited me most about coming back to Arrakis: spending time with those characters again.”
There’s a scene coming on Dunes 2 that Villeneuve recognizes that it is very complicated to do well, and says: “It’s about sandworms that are going to be one of the beautiful challenges of my life. And I know if I do it right, that’s going to be the scene.”
Dune, a film already available on HBO MAX, is nominated for Oscars for production design (Patrice Vermette and Zsuzsanna Sipos), photography (Greig Fraser), costume design (Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan), film editing (Joe Walker) , makeup and hair (Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr), sound (Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett), visual effects (Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer) and original score (Hans Zimmer). In addition, Villeneuve also has two nominations, although in this case shared for best adapted screenplay (shared with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth) and co-producer for best film (shared with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter).