Karlston Posted April 14, 2020 Share Posted April 14, 2020 Needs more Zendaya: We have our first look at the new Dune film Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, and more. Enlarge / Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in this first look at Denis Villeneuve's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. Chiabella James/Vanity Fair We have been eagerly anticipating director Denis Villeneuve's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel Dune since the project was first announced way back in 2016. Now Vanity Fair has given us our first look at the film, including several photos of some of the main characters. Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides? Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides? Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho? Zendaya as the mysterious Chani? They're all featured, along with a few other key cast members. As we reported last year, Dune is set in the distant future and follows the fortunes of various noble houses in what amounts to a feudal interstellar society. Much of the action takes place on the planet Arrakis, where the economy is driven largely by a rare life-extending drug called melange ("the spice") that also conveys a kind of prescience. There's faster-than-light space travel, a prophecy concerning a messianic figure, giant sandworms, and lots of battles, as protagonist Paul Atreides (a duke's son) contends with rival House Harkonnen and strives to defeat the forces of Shaddam IV, emperor of the known universe. That brief synopsis hardly does justice to the sweeping grandeur and enormous cultural influence of Herbert's novel. When it was first published, the Chicago Tribune called it "one of the monuments of modern science fiction." Astronomers have used the names of many fictional planets in Dune to identify various topographical features on Saturn's moon Titan. Herbert wrote five sequels, and the franchise also includes board games, computer games, and numerous prequels and sequels written by his son, Brian Herbert, with Kevin J. Anderson. It took 20 years before Dune was finally adapted into a film in 1984 by director David Lynch, with Kyle MacLachlan starring as Paul Atreides. As an exercise in world-building, it was an impressive accomplishment, bringing much of Herbert's original vision to vivid life. But the plot veered away from the novel in significant ways, the acting was leaden, and the film was critically panned. (It hasn't improved over time; the film is almost unwatchable.) The author pronounced himself pleased with the result, acknowledging the liberties taken but insisting he could "hear my dialogue all the way through." It failed at the box office, however, grossing just $30.9 million on a $40 million budget. In 2000, SyFy adapted the novel into an Emmy-award-winning six-part miniseries, Frank Herbert's Dune, followed by a sequel miniseries in 2003, Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. Both are among the channel's most highly rated programs. Villeneuve directed both Arrival (2016) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017), so he brings some serious science-fiction bona fides to this latest adaptation. Dune is notoriously difficult to adapt, but the director found the trick was to split the novel in half. This first film will cover events in the first half of the novel, with a second installment planned to cover events in the second half. "I would not agree to make this film adaptation of the book with one single movie," Villeneuve told Vanity Fair. "The world is too complex. It's a world that takes its power in details." The script was adapted by Villeneuve, Eric Roth, and Jon Spaihts. Much of the principal shooting took place in remote areas outside Abu Dhabi as well as southern Jordan's famed sandstone and granite canyons. Among other details, the Vanity Fair spread gives us a first look at the costume design for the "stillsuits," which help preserve the human body's moisture in the extreme desert environment of Arrakis. At least one Ars staffer (*cough* Lee Hutchinson *cough*) was not impressed with this take on the stillsuits, claiming they look too much like biker jackets and preferring those in the original Dune film. "Can't we just get a new movie that more or less looks exactly like Lynch's Dune but is otherwise a good movie?" Lee asked. (Dare to dream.) Chalamet told Vanity Fair that the rubber stillsuits were extremely uncomfortable to wear during shoots, where temperatures often soared as high as 120 degrees, adding, "In a really grounded way, it was helpful to be in the stillsuits and to be at that level of exhaustion." We also get our first look at Isaacs' Duke Leto, as well as Rebecca Ferguson—so mesmerizing in last year's Doctor Sleep—who plays Paul's mother, Lady Jessica, in an expanded role that lets her be more than just the concubine who gives birth to the savior of the universe. She's portrayed as a "warrior princess" (or, as Villeneuve jokes, a "space nun") and a member of the all-female Bene Gesserit sect, led by Charlotte Rampling's reverend mother. Momoa's Duncan Idaho might be considerably more buff than Herbert's original description of Duncan as having a wiry build, but Momoa is generally a pleasure to watch, so we're reserving judgment on that casting choice for now. Josh Brolin plays Paul's other mentor, troubadour/warrior Gurney Halleck (played by Patrick Stewart in Lynch's version), while Javier Bardem plays Stilgar, the leader (naib) of the Fremen tribe—original inhabitants of Arrakis who naturally view House Atreides as invaders. And honestly, we could have used a few more shots of Zendaya as Chani (Lynch cast Sean Young in the role), especially if they showed her trademark glowing blue eyes. Villeneuve tapped Stellan Skarsgård (in full-body prosthetics) to play Baron Vladimir, head of House Harkonnen, in an attempt to flesh out the character and make him less of a caricature. In another departure from the book, the character of Liet Kynes (played by Max von Sydow in the Lynch film), an Imperial planetologist on Arrakis, has been gender-swapped to be a black woman, played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One). Dune is slated for release on December 18, 2020, and, at least so far, that date remains unchanged. Source: Needs more Zendaya: We have our first look at the new Dune film (Ars Technica) karman, pintas and dhjohns 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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