Updated: Oct 31
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth based on Dune by Frank Herbert
Stars: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Mamoa, Javier Bardem.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Themes: Desert, Chosen One, Based on Novel
Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.
It was generally well received by critics for its visuals, scope, and ambition. A week after its domestic release, Dune: Part Two was confirmed with a planned release in October 2023.
In Cinemas Now - Rated 12A
Frank Herbert's seminal sci-fi novel Dune has visionary director Denis Villeneuve behind the camera.
A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding. He must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of the noble House Atreides and its loyal people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence - a spice capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential - only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
MIX UP REVIEWS:
Stewart - ★★★★★
'This film looks stunning, a visually engrossing sci-fi film with special effects, production design, costumes and just the entire scale of the movie totally awesome. Definitely one of these films that's appeal works better in a cinema. Yes it's a little confusing at times but just sit back and get soaked up in this world building masterpiece.'
Have you seen it yet?
Best Leading Actor - Timothee Chalamet
Like this? Try these!....
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) - #44 - ★★★★★
Avengers: Endgame (2019) - #67 - ★★★★★
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - #180 - ★★★★
Iron Man 3 (2013) - #547 ★★★
There's more action with Oscar Isaac in the recent Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. There's plenty of action in the sand dunes with Chang Chen once again in the wonderful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There's a lot of Marvel Cinematic Universe connections in the cast including Josh Brolin and Dave Bautista so have a watch of them in more sci-fi action in Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame as well as Guardians of the Galaxy.
For another excellent book adaptations check out the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Meanwhile you can get more Javier Bardem in The Little Mermaid.
Have you seen these films?
Dune 2021: Novel Origins
The 2021 Dune film is based on Frank Herbert's seminal 1965 novel, Dune. Joint winner of the 1966 Hugo Award, the book is considered to be one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written, selling nearly 20 million copies and having been translated into dozens of languages. Fellow sci-fi great Robert A. Heinlein (author of Stranger in a Strange Land) described it as "powerful, convincing and most ingenious", while the Chicago Tribune called it "one of the monuments of modern science fiction".
Herbert went on to pen a further five Dune novels before his death in 1986, while his son Brian has written 14 prequels and sequels in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson.
Dune 2021: What's the plot?
Set in the far distant future, Dune’s epic storyline sees Duke Leto Atreides accepting stewardship of the treacherous desert planet Arrakis, famed for being the only source of the spice melange – a highly prized drug that extends life, enabling the prescience that – among other gifts – makes faster-than-light space travel possible, opening up the far reaches of space.
Leto and his family, which includes his concubine wife, the Lady Jessica, and their son, Paul, are tasked with overseeing the harvesting of the ‘spice’ but this proves easier said than done as the substance is produced by the larvae of lethal, giant sandworms.
Leto must also contend with the planet’s native people, the Fremen, who consider the spice holy.
Meanwhile, the empire’s royal houses feud among themselves, eyeing the honour bestowed upon House Atreides jealously, and plotting to seize it for themselves.
Dune 2021: A visionary director
Dune 2021 is directed by one of Hollywood’s most exciting and revered filmmakers: Denis Villeneuve. A true sci-fi aficionado, Villeneuve’s CV includes Blade Runner 2049 (considered by some critics to be even better than the seminal Ridley Scott original) and the sublime Arrival. If you had to pick someone to film the unfilmable (which Dune has famously been touted to be), you’d choose this guy every time.
Of Dune director Denis Villeneuve and the sci-fi epic he’s created, co-writer Eric Roth told collider.com, “I don’t want to say Lord of the Rings, but I think it’s pretty spectacular. He’s a visionary of his own kind, Denis.”
Dune 2021: previous film adaptations
A movie of Dune has been attempted before: in 1984, by David Lynch – another visionary director and incidentally a hero of Denis Villeneuve’s. Although it was much maligned upon its release, the film has gained cult status over the years thanks to its low-budget but memorable effects, breathy voiceovers and the unforgettable sight of an oiled-up Sting – the lead singer of band, The Police.
There was also a three-part, six-hour mini-series made for the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy) in 2000 entitled Frank Herbert’s Dune and starring William Hurt. That one faired slightly better with the critics, and remains one of SyFy’s highest-rated programmes.
Not that Denis Villeneuve is daunted by what came before. His Dune has a telling shift in perspective. While David Lynch’s Dune was seen almost exclusively through the eyes of the young nobleman, Paul Atreides, Dune 2021 does much to centre Chani (played by Zendaya) and Arrakis’s native people, the Fremen. She describes existence under a series of oppressive outsiders brought in to mine the planet’s previous ‘spice’.
It marks the departure of the brutal House Harkonnen and the imminent arrival on Arrakis of the House Atreides, and to Chani’s crucial role in Paul’s transformation from pampered noble to warrior and spiritual leader.
We love that, just as with Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve is deeply respectful of his cinematic predecessors without feeling restricted or compromised by their visions.
Dune 2021: cast and characters
A director of Villeneuve’s stock was always going to attract a talented cast, but Dune’s line-up is truly something else. Here’s our rundown of who’s who…
OSCAR ISAAC (Star Wars Episode VIII - IX) is Duke Leto Atreides
Steward of the ocean planet Caladan but recently reassigned to Arrakis.
TIMOTHEE CHALAMET (Interstellar) is Paul Atreides
Son of Leto Atreides and his concubine wife Lady Jessica. Potentially a super being..
REBECCA FERGUSON (Mission: Impossible - Fallout / Rogue Nation) is Lady Jessica.
Paul’s mother and Leto’s concubine wife. Also a member of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood – a powerful religious force in the Dune universe.
JOSH BROLIN (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron /Infinity War / Endgame) is Gurney Halleck.
House Atreides’ master of weapons and a valuable mentor to Paul.
STELLAN SKARSGARD (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron) is Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Former steward of Arrakis, current bitter enemy of the House Atreides. A nasty piece of work.
DAVE BAUTISTA (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War / Endgame) is Glossu 'The Beast' Rabban
Baron Harkonnen’s thuggish nephew. An even nastier piece of work than his uncle.
JAVIER BARDEM (Skyfall) is Stilgar
Wise Fremen tribe leader who offers Jessica and Paul sanctuary.
SHARON DUNCAN-BREWSTER (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) is Doctor Liet-Kynes
Planetologist and ecologist based in Arrakis. Male in the book.
ZENDAYA (Spider-Man: Homecoming / Far From Home) is Chani
The Fremen daughter of Liet-Kynes and Paul’s ally.
JASON MOMOA (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Aquaman) is Duncan Idaho
House Atreides’ master of swords and another important mentor to Paul.
CHARLOTTE RAMPLING (Assassin's Creed) is Gaius Helen Mohiam
Soothsayer to Shaddam IV, emperor of the Dune universe, and a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother.
CHANG CHEN (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is Dr. Wellington Yueh
Duke Leto Atreides’ personal physician has been conditioned to be unable to cause harm. But harm can take many different forms…
Dune 2021: potential sequels
Dune 2021 is the first of two planned movies by Denis Villeneuve. The director is also overseeing a Dune TV series for Warner Bros’ new streaming service. “I would not agree to make this 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.” Co-writer Eric Roth has confirmed that the film covers “pretty much the first half” of the novel.
So, we’re potentially looking at two Dune movies by Denis Villeneuve at least. And, given the massive back catalogue of Dune novels that cascade from the events of Herbert’s first book, we could well be looking at only the first chapter of a smart, spectacular new sci-fi franchise.
As the character posters say – “It begins”.
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