Update: Due to recent events, Dune will premiere almost one year later, on October 1, 2021. This has nothing to do with the movie itself and is part of a scheme to increase revenue by Warner Bros. and Legendary. Although I’m sure that Villeneuve did not complain too much. This way he can further polish the movie and perhaps add even more footage to the now already a very long epic.
After we have been betrayed by numerous science fiction epics that turned out to be just commercial products intended for box office smash and grab, there’s a movie I would follow into battle. And yes, I am talking about Star Wars and Star Trek movies that were devoid of meaningful content, counting on special effects to make up for that. Dune 2020 Remake, the second adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic from 1965, promises to be that movie that we have been waiting for.
The determining factor for this optimism is the fact that the movie is being directed by Denis Villeneuve. Very committed and professional, his movies have a very distinct atmosphere and visual style (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival). Blade Runner 2049 is the movie that can best show us what to expect from this new Dune 2020 remake, although Villeneuve is not working with his favorite cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men, Jarhead, Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption) with whom he cooperated on three separate occasions. That role was given to Greig Fraser (Let Me In, Snow White and the Huntsman, Zero Dark Thirty), best known for his work on Rogue One, arguably the best Star Wars movie since the second trilogy. Villeneuve reminds me of Spielberg, Lucas and Scott all rolled into one cute Canadian package.
The movie is set to premiere on December 18th, 2020, in a slot that’s usually reserved for big science fiction movies like the above-mentioned failures. To be more precise, the first part will be premiering on that date with the second part’s release date still unknown along with everything else related to it. And judging from his previous movies, we can expect huge runtimes in excess of three hours for both movies. And this is not all. Spin-off television series, Dune: The Sisterhood, will serve as a prequel for the movies and will be premiering on the new streaming service called HBO Max. I know, I know, you were looking at your current subscription options and telling yourself satandammit why can’t we have even more streaming services? At this point little is known about The Sisterhood, apart from that seemingly lame woke title and the fact it will revolve around Bene Gesserit, a key player in the Dune universe. This group uses years of physical and mental training to obtain almost superhuman powers and use them to direct humanity towards enlightenment.
And if you thought that this will be all from Dune 2020 remake, you are wrong because there are plans for numerous video games, comic books, books and everything else that can sport a Dune franchise name. I for one, welcome our new Dune lords, fondly remembering weeks spent with Dune II, the first real-time strategy (RTS) video game ever released back in 1992. Oh dear Satan, how I was mindful of those fragile and expensive harvesters and their archenemy, fucking Sandworms who would just gobble them up like nothing. Dune 2000, conveniently released in 1998 was also an okay adaptation but it lacked the charm of the original game. Regarding all these other adaptations there’s almost no information about them at this time so we will have to just wait and see what will come of them.
Speaking of no information, there’s no trailer nor screenshots available for the upcoming movie at the time I’m writing this article (02/29/2020). I will be adding them as they are released to the public. Strangely enough, footage from Dune 2020 was screened for a small number of industry professionals that expressed their thoughts on Twitter, promptly deleting them just a day after publishing. Also, leaked photos and logos were also deleted and several complaints from Warner Bros. Science fiction writer Brian Clement compared the vibe to LotR and original Star Wars, trying to emphasize the wow factor of the movie. And although the footage he saw was without any special effects, he made the comparisons with Blade Runner 2049 and its visual style. Still, without a trailer, we cannot say how this movie will look, so it’s best to wait for it to be released. I am judging that this will happen in a couple of months and that by July we will be able to feast our eyes on at least some of the footage from the movie.
One of the things that cannot be hidden is the cast of the movie that seems like a perfect fit for Villeneuve’s vision. Starring Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem, Dune 2020 promises to be a not just an eye-candy but a true science fiction epic that will be here to stay. Oscar Isaac, who plays Duke Leto Atreides, described the movie as “shocking, scary and visceral”, with the rest of the cast also sharing their excitement about the project. So, stay tuned for more news about this cult classic in the making.
While you’re waiting, I recommend you check out David Lynch’s adaptation from 1984 starring Kyle MacLachlan, Brad Dourif, and fucking Sting! Another interesting viewing would be a documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune from 2013 detailing Alejandro Jodorowsky’s effort to create a movie similar to what we expect Villeneuve’s version would be. Just to give you a taste of his vision was here’s a list of people who were involved: H. R. Giger, Chris Foss and Jean Giraud in the art department; Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, David Carradine and Mick Jagger were set to star in the movie…
And we have got our first update since this article was published. Today, 04.13.2020, Vanity Fair got an exclusive first look at Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides on his native planet of Caladan. You can clearly see how the cinematography is a blend between Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, looking pretty awesome.
And now we have the opportunity to see the trailer for the movie here: