Warner Bros. Dates Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Biopic, Pushes Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’

Ryan Lattanzio

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Warner Bros. has unveiled a slew of new dates for its upcoming projects, according to Deadline. Director Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” starring Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet, has been shifted from November 20, 2020, to December 18, 2020, to make room for another yet-to-be-announced release. Warners has also given Baz Luhrmann’s buzzy Elvis Presley biopic a release date of October 21, 2021.

The untitled Elvis film stars Austin Butler as the King of Rock and Roll. Butler most recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” as a bloodthirsty member of the Charles Mason tribe. The film will allegedly cover two decades of Elvis’ life, with Tom Hanks co-starring as his manager Colonel Tom Parker. It’s set to begin production early next year in Queensland, Australia.

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Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” is the third attempt by an ambitious auteur to mount an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s landmark 1965 science-fiction novel. David Lynch adapted the book to mixed results in 1984 with Kyle MacLachlan in the role that now belongs to Chalamet. Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky also, albeit unsuccessfully, tried to put the novel onscreen, as painstakingly detailed in the 2013 documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune.” Villeneuve’s take co-stars Zendaya (hot off HBO’s “Euphoria,” and Mary Jane in the “Spider-Man” movies), Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte Rampling.

Villeneuve co-wrote the “Dune” script with Oscar winner Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, and the screenplay is said to be very close to the source material. “I can’t really discuss much about the script or the plot itself, but I can just tell you that that old phrase ‘true to the spirit’ or ‘honoring the spirit of’ [applies],” “Dune” star David Dastmalchian told CinemaBlend. “Quite honestly I haven’t even seen the most recent [version] of the script, but in the way Denis has talked about the film and what I’ve seen, it’s absolutely true to and in honor of everything that Frank put into the novel…[Denis is] just so fearless, man. He makes choices and then he goes into the places that we need right now as audiences.”

Villeneuve also has a “Dune” television series in the works. The “Blade Runner 2049″ director will executive-produce “Dune: The Sisterhood” for new streaming platform WarnerMedia.

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