Dune Director Says TV Has ‘Corrupted’ Movies

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Mar 14, 2024


Director of the blockbuster hit “Dune” and its highly anticipated sequel, Denis Villeneuve, said television has corrupted the quality of movies.

In an interview with a British media outlet, the director argued movies have experienced a decrease in quality in recent years as Hollywood continues to worry more about a release date than the film itself. 

Dune: Part Two

After Villeneuve’s success with “Dune,” an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel of the same title, it wasn’t long before the sequel was set in motion. 

Photograph of a scene from “Dune: Part Two”

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

In the wake of the release of “Dune: Part Two,” Villeneuve has received plenty of praise for his role in directing the movie.

'Movies Have Become Corrupted by TV'

Speaking in an interview with The Times, Villeneuve talked about the sequel before sharing his thoughts about the decline of movies.

A group of friends pictured watching TV together in a small home

Source: Freepik

“Movies have been corrupted by television,” said the “Dune” director.

Villeneuve Is Not a Fan of Dialogue

The “Dune” director explained this problem stems from movies focusing too much on dialogue and not the overall experience.

Revered “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve pictured in a blue shirt during an event

Source: Wikimedia

During the interview, Villeneuve expressed his dislike of dialogue, stating, “Frankly, I hate dialogue.”

Dune Director Argues Dialogue Is for Theater

“Dialogue is for theater and television. I don’t remember movies because of a good line; I remember movies because of a strong image. I’m not interested in dialogue at all.”

Two women pictured reading their lines during a theatre rehearsal

Source: Freepik

Villeneuve continued, per Variety, “Pure image and sound, that is the power of cinema, but it is something not obvious when you watch movies today. Movies have been corrupted by television.”

Villeneuve Aspires to Make a Movie Without Words

As the interview continued, Villeneuve spoke of his desire to make a movie without dialogue. 

A man is pictured holding his TV remote as he explores a streaming site for a movie

Source: Freepik

“In a perfect world, I’d make a compelling movie that doesn’t feel like an experiment but does not have a single word in it either,” he said.


Dune Director Says Viewers Would Enjoy His Movie Without Words

The “Dune” director explained that while a movie without words would be an unusual experience, the viewers would be captivated by the end result.

A couple pictured enjoying a movie at the cinema

Source: Freepik

“People would leave the cinema and say, ‘Wait, there was no dialogue?’ But they won’t feel the lack,” he said.


Villeneuve Toys with Idea of Making HBO Show

Villeneuve’s recent comments suggest he is not a fan of the television industry. Yet, the director was in talks with HBO last year about the possibility of directing a show.

A production crew is pictured as they shoot a scene for a television show

Source: Freepik

According to reports, the “Dune” Director was in talks with HBO to bring Jo Nesbo’s novel, “The Son,” to life and had even planned to make Jake Gyllenhaal the main character.


Dune Director Trashes HBO Plans

Speaking about the potential project with HBO, Villeneuve said, “It’s a project that I absolutely love. And I love the book. I love that writer, very strong writer.”

A man is pictured throwing several balls of paper into the bin

Source: Freepik

Yet, at the beginning of 2024, Villeneuve announced that he would not be going through with the project as it was simply not the right medium for him. 


Villeneuve Earns the Respect of Critics for Dune: Part Two

It appears that for the time being, Villeneuve will stick to movies. “Dune: Part Two” was released at the beginning of March and has already earned the director respect among critics.

Image of the character Paul Atreides from the movie “Dune: Part Two”

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

With a run time of over three hours, it’s one of few movies that have opted for the bold length and been successful.


Dune Director Trusts the Audience

When asked by The Times whether or not he was nervous about such a long run time, the director replied, “I trust the audience.”

A large family is pictured smiling as they watch a movie together at the cinema

Source: Freepik

He continued, “This story’s too dense. I would never make ‘Dune’ as one movie. This was the only way I could succeed.”


Potential for a Third Dune Movie in the Future

Villeneuve has admitted in previous interviews he’d be interested in creating a third “Dune” movie. It would be based on the second of Herbert’s novels, “Dune Messiah.”

Up close shot of the face of “Dune” character Paul Atreides

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

“There is absolutely a desire to have a third one, but I don’t want to rush it,” Villeneuve said. “The danger in Hollywood is that people get excited and only think about release dates, not quality.”