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This fall, Denis Villeneuve‘s star-studded adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sprawling sci-fi epic Dune will be unleashed on the world. A notoriously tricky story to adapt (just ask David Lynch), Villeneuve’s Dune is bound to be an event film – although it might go the way of Villeneuve’s excellent Blade Runner 2049, and underperform at the box office. But we’ll worry about that when we get to it. For now, here’s everything you need to know about Dune.
Dune Release Date And Where You Can Watch It
Dune will arrive on October 1, 2021. Like every other Warner Bros. release this year, Dune will be released in both theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. The film will remain streaming on HBO Max for 30 days. There was a recent report that Dune would be forgoing this release strategy and be exclusive to theaters, but that proved to be false. There are also rumors that the movie will play at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, but that’s yet to be confirmed.
What is Dune?
Dune is based on the novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. The book was first published in 1965, and it’s considered the world’s best-selling science fiction novel. The story is “set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs,” and Herbert wrote five more books in the series: Dune Messiah (1969), Children of Dune (1976), God Emperor of Dune (1981), Heretics of Dune (1984), and Chapterhouse: Dune (1985).
Alejandro Jodorowsky famously attempted to adapt Dune into a film, but a series of setbacks kept this from happening. The story of Jodorowsky’s failed adaptation is chronicled in the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. After the Jodorowsky affair, Ridley Scott was attached to direct. But Scott dropped out of the project after seven months and went on to make Blade Runner instead.
Eventually, David Lynch was hired to helm the film. Lynch’s movie opened in 1984, and was met with negative reviews and poor box office. Lynch has disowned the project, citing studio interference, although the movie still has its fans.
In 2000, the Sci-Fi Channel (which is now called SYFY) released a three-part miniseries adaptation of the Dune.
Here’s the official Dune synopsis:
A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Dune Director, Crew, and More
Dune is directed by Denis Villeneuve, the filmmaker behind Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, and more. Villeneuve also wrote the script, with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth. Villeneuve produced the movie with Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, and Joe Caracciolo, Jr. The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, and Kim Herbert.
The production designer is Patrice Vermette (Arrival, Sicario); the editor is Joe Walker (Blade Runner 2049); the visual effects supervisor is Paul Lambert (First Man, Blade Runner 2049); special effects supervisor is Gerd Nefzer (Blade Runner 2049). Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) serves as cinematographer, while Jacqueline West (The Revenant) is costume designer, working with co-costume designer Bob Morgan. Hans Zimmer is handling the film’s score.
Okay, take a deep breath, because this is a big list. The Dune cast includes Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides; Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica; Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides; Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck; Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen; Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban; Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat; Zendaya as Chani; David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries; Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh; Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Dr. Liet-Kynes; Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam; Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho; and Javier Bardem as Stilgar.
Will There Be a Dune Sequel?
A sequel has not officially been given a greenlight yet, probably because everyone wants to make sure the first movie is a hit. But Denis Villeneuve has said from the start that he wants to break Herbert’s massive book into two films. “I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” he said. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.” In fact, the new Dune movie is said to only cover the first half of the book, with the potential sequel covering the other half.
There are also plans for a prequel TV series called Dune: The Sisterhood, which is destined for HBO Max.
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