Release dates, cast updates, rumours and where to watch Denis Villeneuve’s much-hyped take on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic.
David Lynch’s Dune. Jodorowsky’s Dune. Both — in many ways — either terrible messes or abject failures, but both incredible projects in their own way and their own right separate from Frank Herbert’s source material. One a meandering, visually stunning (but narratively frustrating) space epic and one, though never actually fully realised, the subject of a documentary at least as fascinating as the final result would have been. But neither quite what they were intended to be.
And now there’s a third: Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Based on the French Canadian director’s credentials — looking only at the more recent entries of Enemy, Prisoners, Arrival, and of course Blade Runner 2049 — he certainly has a handle on combining visually intense filmmaking and tense, narratively complicated science fiction. And, perhaps just as essentially where Dune is concerned, a dark a sense of humour and a flair for the uncanny.
With all that in mind, and things starting to stack up in Villeneuve’s favour
Paul Atreides: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)
Duncan Idaho: Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Game of Thrones)
Lady Jessica: Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Fallout, The Greatest Showman)
Gurney Halleck: Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy, No Country For Old Men)
Duke Leto Atreides: Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Drive, Ex-Machina)
Glossu Rabban: Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Stilgar: Javier Bardem (Skyfall, No Country For Old Men)
Baron Harkonnen: Stellan Skarsgård (Thor, Nymphomaniac, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Reverend Mother Mohiam: Charlotte Rampling (Dexter, Melancholia)
Chani: Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Director: Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Blade Runner 2049, Arrival)
Writers: Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth (A Star Is Born, Forrest Gump), Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange, Prometheus), Frank Herbert (original novel)
Executive Producers: Brian Herbert, Kim Herbert, Byron Merritt, Thomas Tull, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr.
Producers: Denis Villeneuve, Cale Boyter, Mary Parent
Where to watch: Theatres
When to watch: 20 November 2020
Synopsis: The third attempt at filming Frank Herbert’s genre-defining and genre-defying sci-fi novel. Presuming no radical narrative shifts, the plot centres on young Paul Atreides, his noble family, a valuable and rare substance called the spice melange and the many multi-layered conflicts and interactions of warring interplanetary factions. Politics, religion, ecology, philosophy, technology and the weight of human emotion in the face of all of this come together in a maelstrom of circumstances that will not only alter Paul’s life forever, but also change the fate of the universe. It is, as they say, complicated.