In the darkness of the room, as the new Dune 2021 trailer played on my laptop screen I couldn’t help myself a short excited shout. The 2nd trailer for the movie allows the fans some more glimpses into the Dune-verse and its mesmerizing world-building. The first trailer for the movie was released last year in 2020. The disheartening news of the movie’s delay due to the pandemic followed soon after. So with the movie now slated to be released on 22nd October 2021, the trailer was pitched in at the perfect moment. And it perfectly did what it was supposed to do, i.e., fire up the hype once again. As a fan of the book myself, I can confirm that the HYPE is real!
A Short Overview
Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming film is based on the novel of the same name by author Frank Herbert. An immortal saga in the world of Sci-fi it is the perfect blend of Politics, Alien technology, and the human psyche. The story of Dune is set on the desert planet of Arrakis and follows the story of Paul Atreides. Paul’s father, the Duke has been ordered by the emperor to take over the governance of Arrakis from Rabban Harkonnen. Along with that, Duke Leto was also to oversee the workings of the spice-producing company, CHOAM. Being forced to leave their lush homeland of Caladan, Paul and his family find themselves faced against 3 enemies at once: the Unforgiving Desert, the (Bloody)Harkonnens, and the Fremen.
How Paul overcomes such adversity to finally accept the planet as his home and his role as the leader of the planet is a journey that leaves a deep everlasting impression on all its observers. But the story itself is so much more than just the journey of a single person. It raises questions regarding how humans affect the growth of an environment and vice versa. It also imposes a strong question on the foundations of religion and how it affects global politics. Lastly, it questions the definition of leadership and the restrictions and responsibilities that come with it. With that, one waits to see how Dune 2021 will do the story and its overall themes justice.
A closer look at the trailer of Dune 2021
Denis Villeneuve masterfully bringing the bright neon Blade Runner 2049 world to life goes opposite in terms of tones and hues for Dune. The abundant usage of brown and beige hues in the set pieces captures the harshness of the desert well and succeeds in capturing the bleakness and an overall sense of impending “Doom”. His craftsmanship of world-building is unquestionable when it comes to portraying worlds much different from our own.
The second trailer of Dune 2021 much like the first trailer is a mini audio-visual treat to the fans. Its endless deserts, unknown alien cities, and mesmerizing musical score keep assaulting the mind endlessly. The set pieces exude a sense of amazement at their humongous scale and keep the viewer craving for more. Chani’s voiceover artfully retells the beauty of the planet and the bleakness of the Harkonnens’ assault. One should also not forget the massive and imposing “Sandworms”, the rulers of the desert planet Arrakis, which got our hopes up regarding the movie in the first place.
The Abundance of action sequence
The book Dune was mostly devoid of action sequences, leaving a lot up to the reader’s imagination, not that it was a bad thing. But the trailer has increased our hopes for getting to see some massive action sequences on the big screen. Also, the sparring of Gurney Halleck with Paul during their training is another huge improvement on what David Lynch offered us during the same sequence. Duncan Idaho is also seen putting up a good fight with what we can rightfully guess to be Harkonnen soldiers. Other sequences were boasting of a brutal war(or maybe a massacre?). What leads up to such scenes of destruction and brutality will surely leave the audience hooked to the edge of their seats.
In the trailer, we also see Paul fighting along with other Fremen in what seemed to be a training set. We can only speculate that it was Paul teaching the Fremen the “Weirding” way of fighting.
Some other notable aspects
Apart from the fighting sequences, we also get a glimpse of the sinister Harkonnen army and the disciplined Atreides army. Their contrast was skillfully depicted through the usage of brilliant costumes and set designs. We also catch a glimpse of the “Thopters” flying over the desert cities, the mining engine, and the creepy Baron. An eminent sense of Fremen hostility is also evident throughout the trailer as Chani addresses the Harkonnens miners as outsiders. We also have the Duke ever so dutiful and responsible but also caring a great deal about his family. Also, let us not forget about the well-done “blue on blue” eyes which are the striking and absolute feature of every Fremen for a very specific reason.
What can we expect – Getting into Dune 2021 further
Though a green signal for a second sequel has not yet been given, co-writer Eric Roth had previously announced that he’s already written a treatment for the potential sequel in April 2021. So we know there will be two parts to the book. It will hopefully allow the filmmakers to capture as much of the story as they could. But judging from the trailers, the movie takes a lot of creative freedom in structuring its timeline. And so even when it has been announced that the first part of the movie will be covering the first half of the book, it is unclear where Dune 2021 is going to end. So going by the latest trailer we can at least speculate that the first movie will be capturing part of Paul and Jesicca’s life as Fremen.
As evident from the trailer, there will be many dialogue-based exchanges between the characters. In the book, the dialogues are as just as important as the events are and the trailer’s glimpses into dialogue-laden scenes have also increased hopes of a successful adaptation. There is also a chance that the movie might explore the reign of Rabban Harkonnen on Arrakis which was near absent in the book and left to the reader’s understanding.
The movie also takes freedom with the character casting and has cast Liet as a woman. Villeneuve reasons that Leit is more of a driving force in the world of Dune and so the character’s gender is not as important as the presence (disagreeing a bit there). In the new trailer, we also caught a glimpse of a lone person walking through the desert. Is that Liet Kynes walking towards her ultimate fate?
Dune 2021 – The Cast, Crew and Production
Cast of the Movie
The cast for Dune 2021 only boasts of the very best of the best. As evident from both the trailers, the actors are merciless in their portrayal of the character they are playing. Timothee Chalamet will be playing the role of Paul Atreides. And he perfectly upholds the image of the character who was no older than 15/16 at the time of the event. Chalamet had previously starred in acclaimed movies like Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird and Little Women. He will also be starring in the upcoming 2021 Wes Anderson movie “The French Dispatch”. Oscar Issac will be playing the role of Duke Leto Atreides, Paul’s Father. And Rebecca Ferguson will be fulfilling the role of the ever enigmatic Lady Jessica, the consort to Duke Leto.
Jason Mamoa will be giving life to the uptight Duncan Idaho. And Josh Brolin on the other hand will play Gurney Halleck, the Baliset Master. Zendaya will fulfill the role of Chani though she might not be getting enough screen time in the first movie. In the boots of Liet, the planetologist will be Sharon Duncan-Brewster, the force connecting the environment, the Harkonnens, the Emperor, and the Atreides. Stellan Skarsgard, appearing only a few times in the trailer, will play Baron Vladimir Harkonen. The other notable members of the cast are Dave Bautista as Rabban Harkonnen, Javier Bardem as Stiglar. Charlotte Rampling will be filling in the role of Rev Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam. Chang Chen will be portraying the tragic character of Dr. Yueh.
Rest of the crew and set
Apart from the star cast of the movie, the other crew is also best in their designated roles. Villeneuve has so far proved to be the rightful director for a movie of such a size and scope. Composer Hans Zimmer will be returning to Dune to work with Denis Villeneuve again, previously having worked with him on Blade Runner 2049. The first trailer featured Pink Floyd’s Eclipse, re-imagined and composed over a virtual platform by Zimmer and his team. But the second trailer chooses to flaunt the soundtrack that one will be encountering in the movie itself. Zimmer’s goal – to produce a sound different from the typical space epic scores but still imbibing in one the feeling of space. And so the musical score largely consisted of eerie chorus singing, harsh percussion, and low didgeridoo-like droning.
Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan designed the meticulous and intricate costumes for Dune. The costumes boast of both practicality and a futuristic look, blending in seamlessly with the Dune-verse. And they too deserve a big round of applause for their skillful work. The screenplay was undertaken by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth. The movie was filmed in key locations to give a natural feeling to the movie. The locations for the movie’s filming include but are not limited to Jordan(Wadi Rum), Hungary(Budapest – Orgio Flim Studios), Stadlandet in Norway. The movie was also shot in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates for the desert backdrop of the desert planet.
So far attempts at adapting this monster into visual medium have mostly failed. David Lynch’s Dune is the most dishonest adaptation so far. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt into adapting this novel into a movie boasting of magnanimous screen time of 10 hours wasn’t successful either. The project was abandoned due to constraints imposed by a lack of technology and budget. So naturally, a lot of hope is riding on the shoulders of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation. The director boasting of previous box office successes like Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival couldn’t have been a better choice for the movie.
“Dune” is by far the best movie I’ve ever made. My team and I devoted more than three years of our lives to make it a unique big screen experience. Our movie’s image and sound were meticulously designed to be seen in theaters.Denis Villeneuve
Being a massive fan of the novel himself, Villeneuve has been passionately vocal about his upcoming movie and any controversy regarding it. He also actively opposed Warner Bros. Pictures’ decision to simulcast the movie on HBO Max on its theatrical premiere, saying that the movie, its audio and visuals, have been directed to keep a theatrical experience in mind streaming it online just defeats the purpose of such direction. Warner Bros. Pictures has since reversed the said decision, deciding only to let the movie stream for a period of one month on HBO Max after the movie’s premiere.
Although a lot is being expected of the movie with its brilliant cast and breathtaking set pieces, only time will tell whether we will be busy applauding the movie or be busy nitpicking on its shortcomings.
To purchase Frank Herbert’s complete collection of the Dune Saga, click on the image below.