Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was hit particularly hard by COVID. The original plan was for it to hit theaters in November 2020, but with lockdowns still in effect and the virus spreading unabated, Warner Bros pushed it back almost an entire year to October 2021 (and confirmed a simultaneous VOD release on HBO Max).
Fans were disappointed, with the online hype machine being quickly tamped down as they settled in for a long wait. But with the movie now roughly two months away, excitement is once again building.
This month’s issue of Total Film has Dune as the cover story, with its feature showcasing some cool new images from the movie. Check them out:
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The best is undoubtedly a new look at Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides, who seems to be undergoing Fremen combat training by Javier Bardem’s Stilgar. We know that Dune adapts the first half of Frank Herbert’s novel, so this film should end with Paul starting to embrace his destiny as the Fremen “chosen one.”
The other images give us another peek at the House Atreides homeworld of Caladan. This is a watery planet that’s basically the exact opposite of Arrakis, so this shot is presumably from the opening sequence. The others show Villeneuve working with the cast, with him directing Zendaya and Chalamet.
Despite all the signs looking good from the images we’ve seen, there’s still a couple of caveats. One is that this installment is the first of two parts and the second part hasn’t been greenlit. Villeneuve’s reasoning is that the story shouldn’t be compressed into a single movie:
“I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie. The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”
Right now everyone’s fingers are crossed that this will do well and hope is high after an IMAX screening of the first ten minutes revealed a title logo of “Dune: Part One.”
I’m just glad that after suffering through that year-long delay, we’re finally getting Dune on October 22, 2021. We should get a better idea of how it’s turned out early on, as it’s set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2021.