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Steven Spielberg Absolutely Won’t Stop Gushing Over Dune 2, And You Can Thank The Sandworms: ‘There Are Filmmakers Who Are The Builders Of Worlds’

 Sandworms in Dune: Part Two.
Sandworms in Dune: Part Two.

Between his great movies like Jaws, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park and so many more, Steven Spielberg is revered as one of the most iconic filmmakers of all time. So, when he takes time to praise another director, that's definitely something to take note of. As box office hit Dune: Part Two continues its impressive run, Spielberg gave its director, Denis Villeneuve, some huge compliments. Needless to say, the veteran moviemaker couldn't stop gushing over what was achieved within the movie… especially when it comes to those sandworms.

Steven Spielberg recently interviewed Denis Villeneuve at a Directors Guild of America screening in Los Angeles. Here’s what he had to say about the Dune filmmaker, including the rare distinction that Spielberg bestowed up Villeneuve:

Let me start by saying there are filmmakers who are the builders of worlds. It’s not a long list, and we know who a lot of them are. Starting with Méliès and of course, Disney and Kubrick, George Lucas. Ray Harryhausen, I include in that list. Fellini built his own worlds. Tim Burton. Obviously Wes Anderson, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Guillermo del Toro. The list goes on but it’s not that long of a list, and I deeply, fervently believe that you are one of its newest members.

Frame that, Mr. Villeneuve! Getting any kind of compliment is an honor, but to be told such sentiments by Steven Spielberg is extremely special. During the Q&A that was moderated by the Raiders of the Lost Ark filmmaker, the legendary Hollywood even name-inducted Villeneuve among a select group of filmmakers across history that can be called “builders of worlds.” Having seen Villeneuve's work, I can't disagree with that declaration. Spielberg continued by saying this:

You filmed the desert to resemble an ocean, a sea. The sandworms were like sea serpents, and that scene surfing the sandworms is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Ever.

Our Denis Villeneuve Interview

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two / Director Denis Villeneuve
Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two / Director Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve Interview | 'Dune: Part Two,' Completing The Trilogy, & More

Early in the conversation, Steven Spielberg complemented his peer by lauding Part Two as “such a desert-loving film” with “such a yearning for water.” He compared the gorgeous landscapes seen throughout the movie to the sea, before going on to say those sandworm sequences really blew him away. It's hard to disagree with him on that front, as the sandworm scenes are certainly enough to take one's breath away.

Since the highly anticipated sequel's release, it’s been called a “masterpiece” by critics, with CinemaBlend’s own Dune: Part Two review calling it “blockbuster perfection”. In addition to successfully bringing to life Frank Hebert’s science fiction vision and assembling an all-time great cast, Denis Villeneuve made the impossible possible in many ways through the way he shot the movie. For example, he insisted on shooting it in the actual desert and in natural lighting, which he revealed, while speaking to the ReelBlend podcast, “created a puzzle” for not only himself but the cast and crew as well.

It must mean so much to Denis Villeneuve to hear such praises from Steven Spielberg, who's known to show love to others. The 77-year-old legend is known to be vocal about the projects in Hollywood that matter to the industry, between him telling Tom Cruise he “saved Hollywood's ass” following Top Gun: Maverick’s release. Or when he gushed to Godzilla Minus One director Takashi Yamazaki about the Oscar-winning monster movie. Such praise can be overwhelming for some, though I'm sure Villeneuve will take it all in stride.

The sandworm-filled Dune: Part Two is now playing in theaters, and you can stream the first installment using a Max subscription now.