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The writing has been on the wall for this one for a while now. A few weeks ago, Warner Bros. officially announced that they were moving the release of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984 from the first week of October to Christmas Day – and while a great deal of the reaction was dedicated to being sad about the superhero movie's delay, there was also instantly concern about what it would mean for Denis Villeneuve's Dune (which is another WB film). It was quickly assessed that there was little chance that the studio would release two massive blockbusters in back-to-back weekends, so we've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now it seems it has, as reports are saying that the Frank Herbert adaptation will be shifted from its December 18 date to October 1 of next year – which just so happens to currently be the date occupied by The Batman.
This story comes from Collider (which weirdly doesn't mention the conflict with the Matt Reeves film), and should the news be made official it will mean that Wonder Woman 1984 will be the only Warner Bros. movie that follows the release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet in theaters in 2020. It also means that the DC Cinematic Universe title is the last big live-action blockbuster set to be released in 2020, as it was reported last week that the James Bond adventure No Time To Die has been delayed from its late November date to April 2, 2021.
It's unclear at present if a delay would be entirely about the studio trying to create breathing room for its big movies on the release calendar or if the production needs additional time to be completed. Back in August Denis Villeneuve was quoted saying that his schedule has been "crushed" and that it would be a "sprint to finish the movie on time." If this report about a move to October turns out to be true, then that means that the filmmaker will have a great deal of pressure relieved with nine full extra months added to the post-production process.
Of course, the conflict with The Batman is a big part of the story here. Should Dune be set for October 1, 2021, then that could mean that Warner Bros. is playing a slow game of release schedule leap frog and will eventually announce that the next big screen adventure for the Caped Crusader will either be out closer to the end of 2021 or in 2022. Like the sci-fi epic moving away from Wonder Woman 1984, this wouldn't be all-together surprising given that the production has had to press the pause button multiple times due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic (thought it did already move its release date once, from June 25, 2021 to the October date).
Given that Dune is one of our most anticipated releases, you can be sure that we here at CinemaBlend are paying very close attention to news about its release date, so be sure to stay tuned on the site for the latest updates, and in the meantime his the comments section with your thoughts about this rumored development.