From Sicario, to Arrival, to Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villeneuve spent the latter half of the 2010s rolling out (critical) hit after (critical) hit. Having seen the first trailer for his next film, Dune, which dropped this week, we’re confident that he’ll be continuing this streak into the 2020s.
For the uninitiated, Dune will be based on the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, which chronicles the rise of Paul Atreides, the scion of a wealthy family that has been charged with overseeing an interstellar empire’s spice mining operation on the desert world of Arrakis. The spice—called melange—is highly valuable as it extends human life and enhances mental capabilities, while also making it easier to plot a course for space travel.
The original novel is a doorstop that weaves together an intricate tale of religion, power, politics, and ecology as Paul becomes the messianic Muad’Dib among the sands of Arrakis. Villeneuve has chosen to divide the movie into two parts, focusing on roughly half of the book for each, so he can more fully explore the novel’s themes and give its expansive cast of characters room to breathe.
That cast, by the way, is being played by a veritable Who’s Who in Hollywood, with Timothée Chalamet taking the lead as Paul, Oscar Isaac (at his grizzled best) playing his father, Duke Leto, and Rebecca Ferguson stepping in as his mother, Lady Jessica.
Other supporting players include: Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin—a disgustingly exciting array of talent that’s sure to take Villeneuve’s film to the next level.
While people have criticized Villeneuve’s self-seriousness and slow-burn approach to storytelling in the past, those sensibilities will likely match up very well with Dune’s epic scale and its thematic concerns.
Based solely on the first glimpse we got this week, he’s built out a dense, action-packed sci-fi epic on a scale that we don’t see very often anymore. It won’t be easy for the movie to break out at the box office—Dune isn’t a nonentity, but it doesn’t have the same cultural footprint as, say, Star Wars—but it promises to be one hell of a ride for anyone who decides to give it a chance.
The Geek Guys are fully bought into the hype surrounding Dune, and we’ll be bringing you the latest and greatest as we approach the film’s eventual release.
Stick around for more articles on the source material, David Lynch’s original film adaptation of the novel, and our thoughts on any and all of the juicy morsels that we can find about Villeneuve’s latest endeavor.