In cinemas this December
The first live-action adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel, Dune, was released in 1984, directed by David Lynch, with Kyle MacLachlan and English musician Sting in key roles. Set in the far future, the story followed the battle for supremacy on a desert planet, Arrakis, known for its precious resource, melange – often referred to as ‘the spice’ – as well as its nomadic tribes and giant sandworms.
Fast-forward to 2020 and the movie release schedule is all over the place, with cinemas currently closed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. A modern remake of Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve and featuring an all-star cast, remains optimistic about its December release date, however, with the first images from the film now available.
Shown here is Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) as Paul Atreides, the story’s main protagonist. He journeys to Arrakis with his father, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), and mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), only to end up lost in the desert, where he meets and falls in love with Chani (Zendaya), a warrior from the nomadic tribe known as the Fremen. He then finds his loyalties split between the Fremen and House Atreides
He meets other characters along the way, played by various big names:
Javier Bardem (Skyfall, No Country For Old Men), pictured here during filming, plays Stilgar, a leading member of the Fremen. He sees the arrival of Paul Atreides as the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy, which results in the newcomer being welcomed.
There’s also Duncan Idaho, played by Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Aquaman) – a skilled swordmaster and the right-hand man of Duke Leto. In a recent interview, Momoa described his character as the movie’s answer to Han Solo: “It’s a pretty massive film and I get to be this little… he’s kind of the Han Solo-esque of the group. He’s this rogue warrior who protects Timothée Chalamet and serves Oscar Isaac.”
Josh Brolin makes an appearance as Gurney Halleck, a ruthless warmaster for House Atreides. Also look for Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as Doctor Wellington Yeuh, House Atreides’ trusted physician; former wrestler Dave Bautista as a sinister enforcer; Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One) as Dr Liet Kylnes, a leading ecologist; and Charlotte Rampling as Bene Gesseret.
Speaking about the adaptation to Vanity Fair, director Villeneuve confirmed that unlike the 1984 movie, his version will be in two parts, with the second half expected in 2021. “I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” he revealed. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”
He also sees the book as a metaphor for capitalism: “No matter what you believe, Earth is changing, and we will have to adapt. That’s why I think that Dune, this book, was written in the 20th century. It was a distant portrait of the reality of the oil and the capitalism and the exploitation – the over-exploitation – of Earth. Today, things are just worse. It’s a coming-of-age story, but also a call for action for the youth.”
Find out more when the movie is released in December.