Hype levels are already exceedingly high for the upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, which boasts an all-star cast and an esteemed, Oscar-nominated director in Denis Villeneuve. If you ask sci-fi novelist Brian Clement, however, the Blade Runner 2049 helmsman may well be delivering a movie that lives up to expectations.
A few days ago, Clement was among the industry insiders who were privy to some preview footage from the Warner Bros. film. In a series of tweets, the writer was all praise for what he saw, describing the footage as “epic” and hailing the cinematography as “beautiful.”
In the past few decades, Herbert’s novel has built up a reputation as a notoriously difficult work to adapt to shoot. Among the renowned directors who’ve taken a swing at the material are Alejandro Jodorowsky – whose unsuccessful attempt was chronicled in the acclaimed 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune – and Ridley Scott, who eventually left the project to work on the original Blade Runner. And while David Lynch ultimately succeeded in bringing a version of Dune to the big screen, his 1984 film remains divisive to this day.
“As a follow-up re my opinion on new Dune based only on the footage I saw (since people are curious), I think this will blow people away the way LOTR did 20 years ago, the way Star Wars did 40 years ago. It’s not Jodorowsky or Lynch, but maybe Villeneuve has filmed the unfilmable”
Clement also wrote that “a lot of people will have goosebumps/tears when they see this movie,” and that the footage featured “grimy realism mixed with dreamy imagery.” Well, if there’s one thing Blade Runner 2049 taught us, it’s that Villeneuve knows how to make his futuristic sci-fi worlds look great.
Regardless, you can judge for yourself if the new Dune is as stunning as Clement suggests when the film hits theaters on December 18th.