What to Know About Dune Starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and More

It seems Timothée Chalamet has a penchant for bringing literary characters to life on the big screen. After portraying Laurie from Little Women, Elio from Call Me by Your Name, and Henry V from Shakespeare’s Henriad, the 24-year-old actor is now turning his attention to the young antihero of a sci-fi classic: Paul Atreides of Frank Herbert’s 1965 epic, Dune.

Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming film.

It will premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Dune will make its world premiere in Venice on Friday, September 3, out of competition at the annual film festival.

As for its wide release, Dune was delayed multiple times from its original 2020 date. As of right now, it’s slated to hit theaters on October 1, 2021, Collider reported. Like most Warner Bros. films, Dune will premiere online at HBO Max the same day it arrives in cinemas.

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Director Denis Villeneuve is anticipating that audiences will enjoy the release together. “I look forward to a time when we can all get together again as Dune was made to be seen on the big screen,” he told Vanity Fair.

Chalamet stars as an unlikely hero.

In this intergalactic, future-set saga, Chalamet’s Paul hails from an aristocratic family on the planet of Caladan who decide to take over the desert world of Arrakis, which is rich in an essential spice called melange.

“The immediately appealing thing about Paul was the fact that in a story of such detail and scale and world-building, the protagonist is on an anti-hero’s-journey of sorts,” Chalamet told VF of his character.

“He thinks he’s going to be sort of a young general studying his father and his leadership of a fighting force before he comes of age, hopefully a decade later, or something like that,” he added.

In our first look of the film, Chalamet appears as Paul, dressed in a black overcoat and leather gloves while ships arrive in the distance to take him and his family to their new planet.


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“Paul sees that there’s a potential that he’s on a path greater than he understood, that perhaps he’s not simply a regular man,” the actor later said of his character in a Twitter Q&A before the Dune trailer reveal.

Villeneuve was drawn to Chalamet for the role because he has a “deep, deep intelligence in the eyes and he has an old soul,” he said in the Q&A. “I had the impression when you talk to Timothée that he lived many lives, and that’s something that really touched me. And at the same time, he looks so young on camera, so that contrast of having someone that seems to have a lot of experience and at the same time being in the middle of his teenage years is Paul Atreides.”

The cast is star-studded.

Chalamet is just one of many big names attached to the project. Oscar Isaac plays Paul’s father, Duke Leto Atreides, while Rebecca Ferguson plays his mother, Lady Jessica. Josh Brolin portrays Gurney Halleck and Jason Momoa is Duncan Idaho, two warriors training Paul in combat. Javier Bardem is Stilgar, the leader of a group of indigenous people called Fremen.

Zendaya will star as Paul’s love interest, Chani, per Vanity Fair. She’s a mysterious woman with shining blue eyes. “She’s tough, a warrior, she’s native to this planet, it’s all she knows,” the actress said in a cast Q&A. Chani is wary of Paul’s arrival to Arrakis at first, but “she sees something in him that is obviously an indicator of what is to come.” From the trailer, it seems Chani appears in Paul’s dreams before they meet, with them leaning in to kiss before he wakes up in bed.

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