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Everything we know about ‘Dune’, the movie based on the sci-fi classic: date, cast, plot and more

The premiere of Denis Villeneuve’s film is imminent, and the expectation that has been generated around it is very remarkable. The prestige of the novels in which it is inspired, considered classics of the space opera, and the serious and distinct tone of most current sci-fi premieres gives it a special pedigree. We have compiled, to whet your appetite before the arrival of the premiere, everything we know about this Warner film, so that not a sandworm catches you by surprise.

When and how is ‘Dune’ released in Spain?

The premiere is scheduled for the next September 17, 2021, shortly after his visit to the Venice festival at the beginning of the month, and a month before its release in the United States. In all probability, the HBO Max service will not be implemented in Spain, so the premiere will be exclusively for movie theaters.

Who is behind the adaptation?

The director of this new version is Denis Villeneuve, who after a few beginnings away from the fantastic (the independent dramas’ Politenic ‘and Incendios’, the thriller’ Prisioneros’ and the acclaimed ‘Sicario’) specialized in “impossible” adaptations. He visualized Saramago’s almost abstract ‘Duplicate Man’ in ‘Enemy’, translated Ted Chiang’s very literary ‘The Story of Your Life’ into images in ‘The Arrival’ and dared with a sequel to a myth absolute science fiction film, ‘Blade Runner 2049’

The script was written by Villeneuve in the company of Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth. Spaihts caught Hollywood’s attention with the alien invasion hit ‘The Darkest Hour,’ and from there He has participated in genre films such as ‘Prometheus’ (in one of its multiple rewrites), ‘Passengers’ and ‘Doctor Strange’. Roth is one of the most prestigious screenwriters in the industry, and has to his credit hits like ‘Forrest Gump’ (for which he won an Oscar), ‘Ali’, ‘Munich’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ and, recently, the remake of ‘A Star Is Born’.

What is ‘Dune’ based on?

In the novel of the same title by Frank Herbert, a 1965 science fiction classic originally published in serial format in ‘Analog’ magazine. He won the Hugo award and the first Nebula. Herbert continued the voluminous opening title with five sequels: ‘Messiah of Dune’, ‘Sons of Dune’, ‘God Emperor of Dune’, ‘Heretics of Dune’ and ‘Chapter House Dune’. Herbert died in 1986, unable to continue this, which ends in a cliffhanger, but his son Brian Herbert concluded the saga with two more volumes from his father’s notes (‘Hunters of Dune’ and ‘Sandworms of Dune’)

The unique tone of the novel, between the biblical text and the space opera pulp of a lifetime, mix the palatial intrigues between houses of nobles faced with the story of a chosen one on the uninhabitable desert planet Dune. Thanks to his ornate and bombastic prose, his immense roster of characters, and the vast universe he creates (which led Herbert to write a glossary of terms for the reader to navigate through the text), Herbert gave life to a book not especially arid, but with abundant reading levels and fascinating setting finds.

What’s ‘Dune’ about?

In a very distant future where intelligent machines (computers, robots) have been eliminated, a pseudo-feudal society controlled by a mysterious Emperor has risen. We will witness the clash of two noble houses (the Atreides and the Harkonnen) that fight to control the spice or melange, a drug that transforms the perception of time and that it is necessary to travel in space, and that it is located on a desert planet called Arrakis, or Dune.

We will follow in the footsteps of the young heir Paul Atreides and his mother, injured on the planet after a conspiracy by the Harkonnen. There they will be assisted by the Fremen, the tribe of ancient customs that lives in Arrakis and that they have not managed to be subdued. Soon the survival story turns into something more transcendent.

Dune 1 Scaled
Dune 1 Scaled

Have you tried to adapt ‘Dune’ before?

It has been tried and it has been achieved, although Villeneuve assures that his version will be the most faithful to the original novel to date. The previous adaptation of ‘Dune’ is the one directed by David Lynch in 1984, a film that after decades reviled even by the director’s fans, is gaining a certain cult status thanks to the fan cuts that are on the net. Before her, Alejandro Jodorowsky tried it, in an insane project described in the fascinating documentary ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’

A few years later, in 2001, Sci Fi Channel adapted the novel into a miniseries more faithful to the original novel. In 1992 it inspired a couple of video games: the second of them is considered one of the most influential titles in the genre of real-time strategy. Villeneuve’s version comes after Paramount bought the rights in 2008 for an adaptation directed by Peter Berg (‘Hancock’), followed by Pierre Morel (‘Taken’). The project ended in nothing, until Legendary Pictures announced in 2016 a new version that Villeneuve would direct.

Fifty years of Dune is nothing and we have fifty (one) reasons to remember it

Who appears in the movie?

The cast is full of stars, but these are some of the best known involved:

  • Timothée Chalamet: Paul Atreides, heir to House Atreides.
  • Rebecca Ferguson: Lady Jessica, mother of Paul, a member of the Bene Gesserit order and the duke’s concubine.
  • Oscar Isaac: Duke Leto Atreides, Paul’s father, who is on his way to take possession of Arrakis.
  • Josh Brolin: Gurney Halleck, House Atreides weapons master.
  • Stellan Skarsgård: Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, owner of House Harkonnen, enemy of the Atreides.
  • Dave Bautista: Glossu Rabban, nephew of Baron Harkonnen.
  • Stephen McKinley Henderson: Thufir Hawat, Mentat (people trained to take the rational of their thoughts to superhuman extremes) of House Atreides.
  • Zendaya: Chani, young Fremen and lover of Paul.
  • David Dastmalchian: Piter De Vries, Mentat of the Harkonnen House.
  • Chang Chen: Dr. Wellington Yueh, Doctor of House Atreides.
  • Sharon Duncan-Brewster: Dr. Liet-Kynes, Chani’s mother and scholar of the planet Arrakis.
  • Charlotte Rampling: Gains Helen Mohiam, Rev. Madre de la or well done for you.
  • Jason Momoa: Duncan Idaho, one of Paul’s mentors.
  • Javier Bardem: Stilgar, leader of the Fremen tribe.

Who is in charge of the soundtrack?

Hans Zimmer, que declined to participate in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ in order to collaborate in Villeneuve’s film. Zimmer has stated that he is an admirer of Herbert’s original books.

dune zendaya
dune zendaya

Where was the planet Arrakis filmed?

Filming began in March 2019 and ended in July. The desert areas of Arrakis have been replicated in Jordan, Norway and the United Arab Emirates, with additional scenes shot in Hungary.

How many parts will this new version of ‘Dune’ have?

Villeneuve’s plan is shoot the original novel in two parts, a bit in the wake of the success of ‘It’ and its sequel, from an equally voluminous book by Stephen King. Currently, and possibly at the expense of the box office results of the first ‘Dune’, that second part is in pre-production.

There is also a television series planned for which there is currently little data: ‘Dune: The Sisterhood’, destined for HBO Max and centered on the Bene Gesserit order and that it will work as a prequel to the film. Villeneuve will direct the pilot and Diane Ademu-John, co-producer of ‘The Curse of Bly Manor’, will serve as showrunner.