Denis Villeneuve on the role of Zendaya in “Dune Part 2” and her Oscar Snub

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Denis Villeneuve on the role of Zendaya in “Dune Part 2” and her Oscar Snub


The most shocking affront of this year’s Oscar nominations was Denis Villeneuve’s omission from the Best Director category for his sci-fi epic “Dune”. “It’s better to be in that position than the other way around,” Villeneuve told Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast. “I’d rather people say you should have been there instead of ‘what the hell are you doing there?’ I am not making films for awards recognition. If you do, you are not on the right path. I make films because I love the art form of cinema. I love making movies. If you had told me a year ago that we were going to get 10 nominations, including Best Picture, I would have laughed and said, “You’re out of your mind.”

In this episode of the award-winning “Variety Awards Circuit Podcast,” double Oscar nominee Villeneuve talks about his passion for creating the world of “Dune” and that snubbed best director. He foresees what to expect from “Dune Part Two”, including working with Zendaya, which he believes his involvement with the first part “a promise”.

Plus, he commends his phenomenal team of artisans, all nominated for each technical category at the Oscars, only the sixth film in history to achieve this feat. The director also talks about two other projects in his possession, including “Rendezvous with Rama”, which he calls “‘Arrival’ on steroids” and the remake of “Cleopatra”. He also shares that he wants Adam McKay to write him a dark comedy to direct and the possibility of wanting to do a French-Canadian musical. Finally, he talks about the Academy’s decision to pre-register eight awards and edit them on the telecast. Listen below!

The Academy announced on February 22 the decision not to broadcast several major categories live during this year’s telecast to offer a leaner and more television-friendly experience. The prizes that will be awarded at the beginning of the ceremony are for documentary short film, film editing, makeup and hairstyle, original soundtrack, scenography, animated short film, live-action short film and sound.

Villeneuve says: “When people talk about ‘technical’ awards, they are not ‘technical’, they are artistic. Sound design is an art form. Montage is the most important art form in cinema. It’s about art. So the beauty of the Academy Awards is to put the spotlight on the people who work in the shadows. I thought it was a sad decision. I think they threw the baby out with the bathwater. I understand that I am under tremendous pressure. I understand that the Oscars are, in a sense, victims of the fact that television broadcasts are slowly fading. But you can’t [move] away from the nature of the Academy Awards to attract more people to watch. It has to be an exhibition where every single art form is celebrated and I think it’s a deplorable decision. “

Villeneuve faces rumors of Oscar-nominated Florence Pugh (“Little Women”) who will join the cast of “Dune 2” but shares that “things haven’t solidified.” However, she is a “big fan of Florence”. About Zendaya, who played Chani and had a minor role in his own nominated film, he says, “For Zendaya, I’ll say the first part was a promise. I know we caught a glimpse of her in the first part, but in the second she will play an important part. We will follow Timothy [Chalamet] and Zendaya on their desert adventures. That’s the thing that excited me the most about going back to Arrakis is spending time with those characters again. “

There is a scene coming up in “Dune Part Two” that Villeneuve recognizes is very complicated to correct, saying, “It’s about sandworms that is going to be one of the greatest challenges of my life. And I know that if I do it right, it will You scene.”

The Canadian director has loved cinema all his life, earning his first Oscar nomination for Best Director for “Arrival” (2015). He is also responsible for giving legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins the vehicle to win his first Oscar after multiple defeats for “Blade Runner 2049” (2017), which he called “one of the great honors” of his life. . Nothing is planned regarding a possible third outing for Ridley Scott’s venture, but Villeneuve says, “It would be hard for me to turn down an invitation, but I don’t expect it.”

Distributed by Warner Bros., “Dune” is nominated for production design (Patrice Vermette and Zsuzsanna Sipos), photography (Greig Fraser), costume design (Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan), film editing (Joe Walker), makeup and hairstyle (Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr), sound (Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett), visual effects (Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer ) and original soundtrack (Hans Zimmer). Additionally, Villeneuve received names as co-writer for the adapted script (shared with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth) and co-producer for Best Picture (shared with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter).

Also in this episode, the Awards Circuit Roundtable discusses the latest buzz about the final march to the Oscars.

variety The Awards Circuit podcast is hosted by Clayton Davis, Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Jenelle Riley and is your one-stop shop for lively conversations about the best of movies. Michael Schneider is the producer and Drew Griffith mounts. Each week, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top talent and creatives; discussions and debates on prize competitions and sector titles; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you download podcasts. New episodes publish every week.

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