The countdown to the release of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” has begun but the story wouldn’t have been possible if the studio, Warner Bros, hadn’t agreed on his two key demands. Villeneuve, the filmmaker behind some of the most-critically acclaimed films of recent times such as “Prisoners”, “Sicario”, “Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049”, wanted to split the story in two parts and shoot it in real locations. The director unveiled the much-awaited movie’s first trailer during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, reported the Slash Film.
The jaw-dropping trailer teases the immersive and intimate adaptation of a story that author Frank Herbert narrated in his 1965 classic novel. It gives a peek into the coming-of-age tale of Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalamet, who finds himself at the centre of a conflict after his family gets ownership of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, which is the only known location of the galaxy’s most vital and mind-altering mineral called “spice”.
The over-three-minute-long trailer also offers glimpses at the movie’s star-studded cast of Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica, Jason Momoa’s Duncan Idaho, Josh Brolin’s Gurney Helleck and Charlotte Rampling’s Gaius Helen Mohiam. Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Stella Skarsgard also make appearances in the trailer.
In the virtual press conference, moderated by popular American TV host Stephen Colbert, Villeneuve said he became “obsessed” with Herbert’s sci-fi novel after he read it when he was a teenager. “At its core, you can see it from one angle as a powerful, epic adventure story, but it has so many themes that make the book so rich. We tried to keep the richness in the moviehumans, we need to earn our destiny in order to change the world. The movie is kind of a call to action for us to change things, especially for the youth,” the filmmaker said.
But before he officially came aboard the project, Villeneuve placed his conditions in front of Warner Bros. “It’s completely natural for us as screenwriters to break the story in two parts. But the movie itself has its own arc, it is totally sustained itself as one journey. But to tell the (whole) story, we needed two movies,” the director said.
He gave the example of “Jaws” to explain his intentions behind stressing on shooting “Dune” in a desert in Jordanian and in Norway. “My argument was, they didn’t shoot’Jaws’in a swimming pool, you know? We needed to be in the real environments so we will be inspired by the infinity and the impact of those landscapes on the actors’ inspiration, and for myself, too. ‘Dune’is about an ecosystem. At the very core, what I deeply love about’Dune’was (its) exploration of life and ecosystem and the biosphere that Frank Herbert put behind that. It’s so beautiful, so poetic,” Villeneuve said.
The filmmaker added that the audiences would be “amazed” by the landscape and the beauty of the movie. “But most importantly, they will feel strangely at home. It’s important that, in a subconscious way, this would be so real. Because what the movie is about, is about us. At the end of the day, I wanted the audience to feel deep inside their soul the journey that I felt as I was reading the book,” he added. At the book’s core, Villeneuve said, there is a message about conserving nature, which he incorporated in his film adaptation as well.
“There’s a lot of changes that are coming in the world through the next decades, with climate change and all this. We will need to change our ways of living. We will need to change our ways of dealing with nature and the world. “That takes a lot of courage and ethics, and I think’Dune’is a call for that. It has roots in all these topics. That’s why I think’Dune’is more relevant than ever,” the director said. “Dune” is scheduled to be released worldwide on December 18. It is not the first time that the novel has been translated to the screen. David Lynch, known for his mind-bending stories, had adapted the book in 1984 but it turned out to be a box office failure.
Lynch disowned the movie citing interference by producers and financiers. He said he was denied the final cut privilege on the movie.