Breaking News - A Trailer for Dune!
A book inspired by forty miles of Oregon sand dunes is unlikely to pique most people’s interest. In fact, it was rejected by twenty publishers before Chilton Books (better known for car repair manuals) took a punt.
Describe the same book as an epic exploration of religion, politics, ecology and the coming of age of a young man, set on a far planet which is the sole source of a drug required for interstellar space travel and you have one of the most important pieces of late 20th Century literature, Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel ‘Dune’.
With over 12 million copies sold it is the best-selling science-fiction novel of all time.
Someone was bound to make the film…
David Lynch’s ‘Dune’ (1984)
The film rights for Dune were first optioned in 1971 but it would take several false starts (including a version with Salvador Dali as the Emperor) before David Lynch became attached to the project (apparently choosing ‘Dune’ over ‘Return of the Jedi’).
Kyle MacLachlan (‘Paul Atreides’), Sean Young (‘Chani’), Patrick Stewart, Sting and a crew of 1700 decamped to Mexico's Samalayuca Dune Fields for an arduous shoot on the eighty film sets that recreated Herbert’s futuristic Universe.
While a cult favourite of die-hard fans, the critical and box office response to the film was unfavourable. Lynch was dissatisfied with the level of artistic control he was able to exercise over the project and has subsequently disavowed the film, even exercising the ‘Alan Smithee’ privilege to remove his name from the credits of later cuts of the film.
It would take a brave director to step-up to the complexities and subtleties of Herbert’s tome and shake off the shadow of the previous movie.
Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune (2020)
With major sci-fi successes ‘Arrival’ (2016) and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (2017) under his belt, it would-be French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve who would take on the challenge.
Sensibly deciding to split the book over two films rather than cram it in to one, Villeneuve told FANDOM that ...
“Most of the main ideas of Star Wars are coming from Dune so it's going to be a challenge to [tackle] this. The ambition is to do the Star Wars movie I never saw. In a way, it's Star Wars for adults.”
A phenomenal ‘all-star’ cast, including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Issac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling and Zendaya have filmed in Wadi Rum, Jordan (known as ‘the Valley of the Moon’), Abu Dhabi, Norway and Hungary to bring to life the first half of the novel.
We were given glimpses of the result in a newly released trailer…
… plus a fantastic Q&A with director and principal cast.
‘Dune’ is set for release in December 2020 and we will have the movie posters as soon as we can get our hands on them.
By the way, did you enjoy the music in the trailer? Pink Floyd’s ‘Eclipse’, from ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’!
Adam and the Art of the Movies team.