Last week, WarnerMedia dropped a bombshell of a decision regarding its upcoming major film releases that had the general public collectively crying, “Oh shit!” The entertainment conglomerate’s decision to release all of its 2021 moves—including Dune, the Suicide Squad sequel, In The Heights, Matrix 4, and many others—in theaters and HBO Max simultaneously inspired euphoria in some (or large swaths of the general public who are still social distancing, but wish to be entertained) and dread in others ( like movie theaters and anyone hoping to make serious bank off of these cinematic events). Now, there’s at least one production company that is gearing up to fight the decision, per a report from Deadline. Legendary Entertainment is set to challenge Warner Bros.’ decision to release Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and Godzilla Vs. Kong on HBO Max.
According to a source, Legendary was only given 30 minutes notice before WarnerMedia made the announcement about the hybrid release plan. The move interferes with at least one distribution plan that Legendary had in the works—specifically, a deal that it made with Netflix earlier this month regarding Godzilla Vs. Kong, which WarnerMedia has reportedly blocked. Deadline notes that Legendary provided the bulk of the budgets for both films—around 75%—and are worried that the steaming element of the release will jeopardize the legitimacy of the franchises. But the news of Wonder Woman 1984's HBO Max premiere has not only opened up certain floodgates of possibilities, but has also driven home the point that we really have no earthly idea when theaters will be truly safe, leaving distributors with fewer and fewer options.
As of right now, Godzilla Vs. Kong is currently scheduled for release in theaters and on HBO Max on May 21, 2021. Dune is will follow with a similar release on on October 1, 2021.