Dune: the geek essentials

Dune: the geek essentials

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David Lynch, master of weirdness, took a run at Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi saga Dune back in 1984. It would be understating it to say that it didn’t go well. It went even less well for Alejandro Jodorowsky, who spent years trying to get his adaptation made. But if anyone can make Dune both an eye-popping reality and actually good, it’s the man behind Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, surely?

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We’ll be keeping everything we know about Denis Villeneuve’s Dune right here. You’ll be able to find details on the cast, news about the direction the movie is taking, posters, filming info and even trailers, when they arrive.

Feel free to check back here for more, as it happens.

Dune cast

Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ex Machina) is the latest cast member to sign up for Dune, according to THR. He’ll be playing Duke Leto Atreides, father of Paul ‘Muad’Dib’ Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica, will be played by Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout).

Chalamet was the first person to be confirmed for Dune, as the leading man and as the central character of the story.

The young actor is a white-hot rising star, coming off critically acclaimed performances in Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name and Beautiful Boy.

“Denis is one of my favourite filmmakers,” he told The Playlist. “What’s especially inspiring about Denis’ films are the size of them. They reach a big audience. These are films meant to play in front of big crowds. And, conversely, he’s also made movies like Incendies that are like intimate affairs. So, that would be a dream come true and is going to be a dream come true. And, I’m chomping at the bit for that experience. I can’t wait.”

Other confirmed members of the cast include Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen (Beast), who will be reuniting with Villeneuve again after having a small role in the director’s 2017 effort Blade Runner 2049. Stellan Skarsgard is also aboard, and so is Charlotte Rampling. She’s been cast as the galactic emperor’s Truthsayer, Gaius Helen Mohiam, aka Reverend Mother.

Dune director

Director Denis Villeneuve supposedly turned down the chance to direct Bond 25 in favour of pressing ahead with his version of Dune. He revealed in an interview back in March of last year that “Dune will probably take two years to make” and that “The goal is to make two films, maybe more”. So there you have it, he’s in for the long haul with this adaptation!

Villeneuve’s last film, Blade Runner 2049, received plenty of critical acclaim, but it didn’t find success at the box office, which was disheartening. Legendary Entertainment, the company behind this film, are likely hoping that Dune won’t meet a similar fate.

Dune plot

Frank Herbert wrote six Dune books before his death in 1986 and since then the story has continued under the pen of his son, Brian, and Kevin J Anderson. Adaptaing the sprawling material is an absolutely mammoth task that even the television version of the story has struggled with, so it’ll be interesting to see how these new films handle this virtually impossible duty.

Dune is set in a complex futuristic society in the year 10,191. The human race has mastered space travel, and colonised planets throughout the universe. Initially focusing on the planet Caladan, Duke Leto of the House of Atreides (Oscar Isaac) is about to take over the role of governor of Arrakis, a desert planet that produces a popular drug (the spice must flow!). Leto, Jessica, and son Paul (Chalamet) start to suspect that they’ve been set up by the Harkonnens, a rival family, but he still decides to move forward with his settlement plans on Arrakis, despite grave warnings that tragedy may befall him and his family if he does so.

Dune release date

The project will begin filming on location in Budapest and Jordan this spring. We’re still looking at a 2021 release date for Dune, until we hear otherwise.


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