Dune trailer: Denis Villeneuve brings his adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi classic

The trailer of Dune, unveiled on Wednesday, introduces the characters of Timothee Chalamet, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Rebecca Ferguson.

FP Staff September 10, 2020 15:26:32 IST
Dune trailer: Denis Villeneuve brings his adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi classic

The countdown to the release of Denis Villeneuve's Dune has begun but the story wouldn't have been possible if the studio, Warner Bros, hadn't agreed on his two key demands.

Villeneuve, the filmmaker behind some of the most critically acclaimed films of recent times such as Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, wanted to split the story into two parts and shoot it in real locations.

The director unveiled the much-awaited movie's first trailer during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, 9 September.

The trailer teases the immersive and intimate adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 classic novel of the same name.

It gives a peek into the coming-of-age tale of Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalamet, who finds himself at the centre of conflict after his family gets ownership of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, which is the only known location of the galaxy's most vital and mind-altering mineral called "spice."

It offers glimpses at the film's star-studded cast, including Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Josh Brolin's and Gurney Helleck, and Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam.

Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, and Stella Skarsgard also make appearances in the trailer.

Watch the trailer here

In the virtual press conference, moderated by popular American TV host Stephen Colbert, Villeneuve said he became "obsessed" with Herbert's sci-fi novel after he read it when he was a teenager.

"At its core, you can see it from one angle as a powerful, epic adventure story, but it has so many themes that make the book so rich. We tried to keep the richness in the movie…humans, we need to earn our destiny in order to change the world. The movie is kind of a call to action for us to change things, especially for the youth," the filmmaker said.

But before he officially came aboard the project, Villeneuve placed his conditions in front of Warner Bros.

"It''s completely natural for us as screenwriters to break the story into two parts. But the movie itself has its own arc, it is totally sustained itself as one journey. But to tell the (whole) story, we needed two movies," the director said.

He gave the example of Jaws to explain his intentions behind stressing on shooting Dune in a desert in Jordanian and in Norway.

"My argument was, they didn’t shoot Jaws in a swimming pool, you know? We needed to be in the real environments so we will be inspired by the infinity and the impact of those landscapes on the actors’ inspiration, and for myself, too.

Dune is about an ecosystem. At the very core, what I deeply love about Dune was (its) exploration of life and ecosystem and the biosphere that Frank Herbert put behind that. It’s so beautiful, so poetic," Villeneuve said.

The filmmaker added that the audiences would be "amazed" by the landscape and the beauty of the movie.

"But most importantly, they will feel strangely at home. It’s important that, in a subconscious way, this would be so real. Because what the movie is about, is about us. At the end of the day, I wanted the audience to feel deep inside their soul the journey that I felt as I was reading the book," he added.

At the book's core, Villeneuve said, there is a message about conserving nature, which he incorporated in his film adaptation as well.

"There’s a lot of changes that are coming in the world through the next decades, with climate change and all this. We will need to change our ways of living. We will need to change our ways of dealing with nature and the world.

"That takes a lot of courage and ethics, and I think Dune is a call for that. It has roots in all these topics. That’s why I think Dune is more relevant than ever," the director said.

Dune is scheduled to be released worldwide on 18 December.

It is not the first time that the novel has been translated to the screen. David Lynch, known for his mind-bending stories, had adapted the book in 1984 but it turned out to be a box office failure.

Lynch disowned the movie citing interference by producers and financiers. He said he was denied the final cut privilege on the movie.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

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