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Dune director Denis Villeneuve says "it will be a sprint" to finish the movie on time

(Image credit: Chiabella James/Warner Bros)

Will Dune be delayed? Let’s hope not, but recent comments from director Denis Villeneuve indicate that the clock is working against them for the adaptation to reach its December 18 release date – partially due to the knock-on effect of working under lockdown conditions.

“I was planning to go back and shoot some elements later because I wanted to readjust the movie. I needed time,” told CCTV (via IndieWire (opens in new tab)) on how Dune was getting along pre-shutdown.

“At the time I didn’t know that it would be a pandemic… as we were about to go back to do those elements. The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now. It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now,” Villeneuve said. 

“Because we [are] allowed to go back to shoot those elements in a few weeks… it meant also that I have to finish some elements of the movie, like VFX and the editing, in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles.”

That timely update from Villeneuve also includes a reference to reshoots. Thankfully, on that front, actress Rebecca Ferguson (who plays Lady Jessica) recently confirmed on Instagram she is returning to Budapest “soonish” for additional shooting.

So, uhh, fingers crossed? With four months to go – and presumably well before that for a movie of this magnitude to be locked in – it surely is a race against time to get the first of the two-part epic out of the door at the tail-end of 2020.

Find out what else is coming in 2020 with our movie release dates (opens in new tab) guide.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.