Dune Cinematographer Says The Movie’s A Fully Standalone Epic


Most big 2020 movies have slipped from their release dates, but Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has held firm. With filming completed and post-production underway, the star-studded science fiction epic is still scheduled to land on December 18th. Hype levels increased recently when we saw some awesome-looking shots of the cast in full costume and I’m sure the first trailer can’t be too far away.

One aspect of the project that may give people pause though is that Dune has now been confirmed as a two-part movie, with Villeneuve arguing that condensing the entirety of Frank Herbert’s original book into one film runs the risk of confusing audiences. That naturally raises the suspicion that the movie won’t have a proper ending, but in an interview with Collider, cinematographer Greig Fraser insists that that’s not the case.

“It’s a fully formed story in itself with places to go. It’s a fully standalone epic film that people will get a lot out of when they see it… It was quite an adventure visually. It was a beautiful experience making it.”

Fraser went on to discuss how his time on Rogue One and The Mandalorian influenced his work on Dune, particularly in the similarities between Star Wars’ Tatooine and Dune‘s Arrakis:

“It was quite fun because I had to forget a lot of Star Wars when I was making Dune. It wasn’t hard, though. Denis and I spoke clearly about how the film should look and should feel, and the formats and this and that, so it was not hard to swerve and change lanes. There were some similarities like the deserts. I mean listen, ultimately I’m positive George Lucas was inspired by Dune when he made Star Wars. I don’t know if that’s sacrilegious to talk about, but there are a lot of similarities in some areas, so you could tell he was definitely influenced by that. So I had to be careful doing both [Dune and The Mandalorian] and not to repeat myself. Also not just for the sake of the movie, but for fun. I hate to do the same thing twice.”

And as for his close working relationship with Villeneuve? The pair sound like peas in a pod, with both of them extremely serious about what they’re making and wanting to do the very best they can.

“I can tell you that Denis is a master and a lovely human being who is passionate and wild and sensitive and loving. What I love about Denis is French-Canadians and Australians tend to have a lot of similarities in that we can get a bit passionately aggressive when we need to be. The French-Canadians can be very, very passionate about life and things, so I found getting on with him really well on that, and also Patrice [Vermette] the production designer. I think we all had the same thing of, if something wasn’t good, it’d be like, ‘That’s bullshit!’ and Patrice would be like, ‘Yeah, that’s shit!’ They wouldn’t pull punches, which I found awesome, and we had the same relationship.”

Right now, it’s all looking rosy for Dune, which could be a nice end to a dismal year for cinema. Here’s hoping that there are still multiplexes left to release the film into by the time December rolls around. On a happier note, I’m sure that we’re going to see the first trailer sooner rather than later. Ordinarily, it’d come attached to one of the summer’s blockbusters, so we may get it any day now that we’re a hair over six months from its release date.