Dune director Denis Villeneuve addressed his snub for Best Director at this year’s Academy Awards. During a recent appearance on the Variety Awards Circuit podcast, Villeneuve was asked about being left off the nominee’s list for the Best Director award at the 2022 Oscars, despite his film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune being nominated for Best Picture. “It’s better to be in that position than the opposite,” he said.
“I prefer people to say ‘You should have been’ instead of ‘What the hell are you doing there?’ I’m not making movies to get awards recognition, that’s not the goal,” he continued. “If you do it for that goal you’re not walking the right in my humble opinion. I make cinema because I deeply love the art form of cinema. I love making movies. When there’s recognition after, of course, it’s a blessing and a plus. There’s a voice inside me saying that it’s good to stay hungry, and as a film director I think I will be able to direct movies as long as I feel I can be better.”
When the nominations for this year’s Oscars were released, many fans were surprised to see Villeneuve was not nominated for Best Director, even though Dune itself garnered 10 other nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. The five directors nominated over Villeneuve were Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kenneth Branagh, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Jane Campion.
Still, Villeneuve’s Dune is now the sixth film in history to be nominated in every technical category at the Oscars, joining films like Titanic, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Revenant. Villeneuve says he’s just happy his film was nominated at all. “If you had told me a year ago that we would get 10 nominations including Best Picture, I would laugh and say, ‘Are you out of your mind?'” Villeneuve said. “To have 10 nominations, all I can say is thank you to the gods of cinema and thank you to the Academy and to drink a glass of champagne to celebrate.”
With the awards show fast approaching, Dune will have several chances to bring home some hardware. Meanwhile, Villeneuve has already started pre-production on Dune: Part Two, which is scheduled to release in 2023. The director teased a scene he’s storyboarded for Part Two involving sandworms and called it “pure cinema.”Fans can tune in to the 94th Academy Awards on ABC on March 27.