Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel Dune has proved notoriously difficult to adapt. The dense and often surreal fictional universe can take a while to grasp, but readers who put in the effort seem to fall head over heels in love with the series. What works in a book doesn’t seem to condense down well into a feature-length movie, though, as some of the best directors in the world have tried and failed to adapt it. That being said, it looks like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 helmer Denis Villeneuve might’ve succeed where others have stumbled.
Today, we finally have our first proper look at Dune via an amazing new trailer that brings Herbert’s world to life in jaw-dropping fashion, teasing shots of the desert planet of Arrakis and quick peeks at each of the main characters, showing off their cool Stillsuits and fun tech design.
The look of the movie was revealed with some photos earlier this summer, and while those images impressed, seeing it in motion is something else. Beyond the film’s dusty and minimalist aesthetic, it’s also nice to lay eyes on the impressive cast that Villeneuve and his team have assembled to bring this story to life.
Despite all the signs looking good from this trailer, there are still a couple of caveats. One is that the movie coming this December is the first of two parts. Villeneuve explained in an interview that he didn’t think he could fit the story into a single film, saying:
“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.”
This is a risky move, of course, as it’s unclear whether the sequel has been greenlit or whether its future rests on the success of part one (and at the back of my mind is the middling box office numbers for Blade Runner 2049). Then again, perhaps they shot material for both parts at the same time and would merely need to schedule pickups and reshoots in order to finish the second half.
In any case, right now, I’m just glad that a science fiction film this ambitious is hitting our screens soon. 2020 has been a terrible year for cinema due to the Coronavirus, so let’s hope that this pic at least lets us end it on a positive note.
Dune will be released on December 18th. Unless, of course, it suffers a delay due to COVID-19, which is apparently still a possibility.