Dune 2 Director Reacts to Viral Popcorn Bucket: "What the !?!?"

By David Thompson Posted:
Denis Villeneuve, Dune Popcorn Bucket

The director of Dune 2, Denis Villeneuve officially commented on the viral popcorn bucket being sold at AMC Theaters.

The limited edition sandworm popcorn bucket, promoting Dune: Part Two, caused a viral fervor due to its design, including its detachable lid serving molded after the creature's mouth for eating. 

Despite drawing controversial attention and inspiring memes, jokes, and even a Saturday Night Live sketch, the unique design inadvertently boosted publicity for the movie's sequel, getting the attention of the cast and Villeneuve.

Denis Villeneuve Reacts to Viral Popcorn Bucket

Dune Part 2 popcorn bucket
Dune Part 2 popcorn bucket

During a recent interview with The New York Times, Denis Villeneuve and Timothée Chamalet were asked about the infamous Dune 2 popcorn bucket.

Villeneuve explained when he saw the sandworm bucket that his reaction was "What the [expletive]!?" but that he does "respect a bold choice:"

"I don’t want to make stupid jokes right now that will I regret tomorrow morning. But I will say this. When I saw it, I went, 'Hoooooly smokes.' What the [expletive]!? At the same time, it created a lot of fun online. So maybe it’s positive? It’s some kind of…impressive design. I respect a bold choice."

During the joint interview, Chalamet and Villeneuve went back and forth joking about whoever designed the viral popcorn vessel. Chalamet admitted that he "can't tell" if the designer is proud or "brutally offended:"

"I can’t tell if someone is at home right now going, 'My design worked perfectly and everyone’s talking about it.' Or if someone’s brutally offended by the response."

The Dune 2 director concluded that "it seems that bucket brought a lot of laughter and joy" which both agreed was a positive outcome, but neither was involved in the creation, even though Chalmet jokingly takes credit:

Villeneuve: "At the end of the day, it seems that bucket brought a lot of laughter and joy, which I think is —"

Chalamet: "Something we need more of —"

Villeneuve: "But I was not —"

Chalamet: "You were not personally involved in the design process."

Villeneuve: "I thought you were!"

Chalamet: "My idea!"

Is the Popcorn Bucket Helping Sell Tickets?

Regardless of the good or bad press about the viral AMC Theaters popcorn bucket for Dune 2, everything seems to be working for the sci-fi sequel.

After raking in nearly $200 million worldwide during its opening weekend in theaters, Dune: Part Two is the first blockbuster of 2024.

The online banter and viral memes have only elevated the awareness of the film, even though a movie starring four of Hollywood's brightest young stars hardly needs a misunderstood popcorn bucket to get fans in seats.

In reality, this was a stroke of brilliance from AMC Theaters, which generates most of its revenue from concession sales and limited-time items.

While the intent seemingly got twisted by dark humor across the internet, designing an impractical, outside-of-the-box bucket was a smart idea.

A standard cylindrical tin with Zendaya and Chamalet's face plastered on the side would have come and gone without much of any thought, but the sandworm bucket will stand the test of time and possibly get repeat use from excitable Dune fans.

Dune: Part Two is now playing in theaters worldwide.

Read more about the Dune franchise below:

Dune 2 Movie Controversy Explained

Dune 3 Release, Cast & Everything We Know

Dune 2: Tim Blake Nelson Reveals Why He Got Removed from Sequel

- In This Article: Dune: Part 2
Release Date
March 01, 2024
Rebecca Ferguson
Timothée Chalamet
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.