Fear is the mind-killer, but antsy anticipation isn’t great for the brain either. So if you’re reeling from recent news that Warner Bros. Pictures shifted Dune: Part 2’s release date from November to March 15, 2024, here’s some good news: The original Dune will stream on Netflix beginning in October.
Technically titled Dune: Part 1, the 2021 release never quite got its due. Caught in the maelstrom of COVID-19 shutdowns, the Denis Villeneuve-directed blockbuster was delayed to what would become a day-and-date theatrical/streaming release thanks to Warner Bros.’ odd corporate strategy of dumping every new release onto the streaming platform once known as HBO Max. The movie was still something of a rebound phenomena in the post-COVID era, and Villeneuve began almost immediate work on the sequel, but there’d be a twist for Dune 2, too: a summer of WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes with open-ended negotiations prompted WB to push the movie to 2024 with hopes that the strikes would be over and the cast would be around for a promotional blitz. With the WGA strike now over, it looks like the right move in retrospect. But... we also want to see Dune: Part 2.
Dune: Part 1 has been available for some time, riding the shifting sands of WarnerMedia’s acquisition by Discovery, the transformation of the company into Warner Bros. Discovery, and the rebranding of HBO Max into just... Max. If you remain subscribed to the platform that has everything from DC movies to Fiona and Cake to 8,000 episodes of Fixer Upper, then you can watch Dune whenever the hell you want. If you’re only a Netflix subscriber, the recent licensing of the film to the platform could not have come at a better time.
Not unlike the Great Blockbuster Dump of 2021, the decision to license Dune to a non-Max platform is another twist in Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming strategy: Earlier this year, the conglomerate brokered a deal to allow WB films and HBO shows to play on Netflix. Almost instantly, shows like Insecure to Band of Brothers broke into the Netflix top 10 alongside the streamer’s originals. Go figure. Netflix might have the market share on streaming-TV eyeballs, but the legacy libraries still reign supreme when it comes to content.
Look out for Dune — along with Gladiator, the underseen indie Miss Juneteenth, the Mission: Impossible movies, and a mess of Steven Spielberg’s best films — when they arrive to Netflix on Oct. 1.