‘Dune’ to land on HBO Max a day early

Rebecca Ferguson and Timothée Chalamet in Dune.
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in 'Dune' (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Movie fans have been waiting a long time for Dune to come out, and with the film’s wide release finally in sight Warner Bros. is giving a special treat to those who plan to watch the sci-fi epic on HBO Max. In a tweet, HBO Max announced that Dune will premiere on the streaming service starting at 6 p.m. ET on Oct. 21, one day before its expected release on Oct. 22.

Dune was always going to be getting a streaming release alongside its theatrical run, as Warner Bros. has opted for the strategy of a hybrid, limited release for all of its 2021 movies, making them available on HBO Max at no additional cost to subscribers to the $14.99 per month plan (these movies are not available on the $9.99 plan) for the first 31 days of their release. Under these parameters, Dune was set to be available on HBO Max from Oct. 22 to about Nov. 21.

With this announcement, Dune will be available to see on both the big screen (as many theaters host special Thursday evening screenings of big releases) and on HBO Max as of Oct. 21.

Based on Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel, Dune is the story of Paul Atreides, the son of a noble family that is entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element of the galaxy, which can only be found on the hostile planet Arrakis.

Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) directed Dune. The film stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Mamoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Dave Bautista, Chen Chang and Charlotte Rampling.

The film premiered at Venice, where it received strong buzz (the film is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 88%). But one of the big things that many critics talked about was the scale of the film and the need to see it on as big a screen as possible; something that Villeneuve also is adamant about.

Theaters are open again all across the country, so it will readily be available to anyone who wants to head out to their local cinema to see it. Though with this option, fans will be able to watch it from the comfort of their own home should they have any reservations.

See what’s in store with the official trailer for Dune below.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.