Dune’s Josh Brolin Drops F-Bomb Over Director Denis Villeneuve’s Snub

Josh Brolin in Dune
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune has racked up an impressive 10 Oscar nominations, including the coveted nod for Best Picture. Despite the film’s recognition, one nomination was notably absent: a Best Director slot for Denis Villeneuve. The French-Canadian filmmaker handled the alleged snub with grace, but Dune actor Josh Brolin was definitely not happy with the Academy. 

In a recent Instagram post, Josh Brolin shared a heartfelt congratulations for Dune’s plentiful Oscar nominations. However, he also expressed his outrage over Denis Villeneuve’s omission from the Best Director category, going so far as to drop an f-bomb on social media. He said:

And the unbelievable, almost numbing, flummoxing I feel for Denis Villeneuve not being nominated for best director. It's just one of those things that you just go, 'Huh? What?' I don't know how you get 10 nominations, and then the guy who's done the impossible with that book doesn't get nominated. It makes you realize that it's all amazing, and then it's all fucking, totally dumb.

Many folks were convinced that it was impossible to faithfully adapt Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel Dune for the silver screen - even Josh Brolin thought so.Then Denis Villeneuve came along, and the impossible was done. Audiences and critics raved, but the Academy failed to nominate the film’s direction. Josh Brolin, who played Gurney Halleck in Dune and previously called the film a masterpiece, was clearly mind-boggled by the Academy’s decision. It’s a fair state of being, considering the film’s other nods in categories like Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Even CinemaBlend’s Cole Jaeger forecast that Denis Villeneuve would at least snag a nomination (although his prediction of 11 Oscar noms was remarkably close to 10 it received). 

The Oscar nominations can definitely be inscrutable, even with industry analysts and experts adding up the numbers. Many films have garnered critical acclaim but missed out on a golden statue, while other projects with mixed receptions have swept the arena. Denis Villeneuve was nominated for Best Director for Arrival in 2017, so it’s not like the Academy has a history of overlooking him. 

So why the snub? In the case of Dune, it’s possible that there were simply too many directors in the nominations pool. The 2022 nominees include industry heavyweights like Stephen Spielberg, Kenneth Branagh, Jane Campion, and Paul Thomas Anderson, as well as the newcomer Ryusuke Hamaguchi. It’s possible that such a talented group of professionals split the vote, and Denis Villeneuve was the odd man out (to Josh Brolin’s chagrin). Either way, Dune has already established itself as a modern sci-fi classic, and it’s sure to grab at least one win. Plus, with Denis Villeneuve promising a Dune sequel, it’s likely that the director could try for the nomination his next go-round. 

Dune is now playing in theaters everywhere. It’s also available to rent via your Amazon Prime Video subscription. The 94th Academy Awards will be presented on March 27, 2022, with the ceremony airing on ABC. 

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.