Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve is back with Dune, another awe-inspiring sci-fi film that looks like every single dollar of the movie’s sizable budget made its way onto the screen. Author Frank Herbert’s original novel, which serves as the source material for this film, is so dense that it will take two movies to cover it all, and after seeing today’s lengthy-but-very-good trailer, I have every finger crossed that the film performs well enough to justify a second installment which wraps up the story.
Today, Warner Bros. released a new batch of images to accompany the trailer, so let’s take a quick look at those and see if we can spot any details worth pointing out.
Welcome to Arrakis
If you’re new to the world of Dune, welcome. (Come on in, the sand is fine!) I encourage you to read today’s trailer breakdown, which lays out the basics for what you need to know in terms of who these characters are and the broad strokes of the film’s plot. Most of these images correspond with characters and plot beats that we’ve already discussed in that article, so I won’t bore you by repeating them here. But there are a couple of things worth noting.
The image of Rebecca Ferguson‘s Lady Jessica wrapped in a sand-colored shawl is intriguing to me because of the blue color of her eyes. The planet of Arrakis is home to a spice called “melange” that doubles as a drug that grants users longer life, heightened awareness, and for some, the ability to see the future; when you’ve ingested enough of it, your eyes turn blue. Jessica is a member of the Bene Gesserit, a religious order of women with mysterious powers who influence galactic events, and the color of her eyes in this image hints that this adaptation could delve deeper into the novel than the halfway point, despite ostensibly covering only the first half of the story. (Then again, that image could be a flash from one of Paul’s dreams.)
And one character we didn’t touch on in the most recent breakdown is Keynes, who appears in the second-to-last image and is played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster. In the book, Keynes is a man, but the role has been gender-swapped for this movie. Keynes is an integral character in the story who serves as a bridge between most of the key players: the evil Harkonnens, the noble Atreides family, and the desert-dwelling Fremen.
Here’s the movie’s official 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 will be available in theaters and on HBO Max starting on October 22, 2021.
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