Dune: Everything we know about the Denis Villeneuve's all-star reboot

It will offer a second adaptation of Frank Herbert’s famous sci-fi novel, following David Lynch’s 1984 film

Clarisse Loughrey
Wednesday 20 February 2019 10:28
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Dune (1984) - trailer

Denis Villeneuve‘s new reboot of Dune is shaping up to be a major Hollywood production.

The Blade Runner 2049 director’s new film will offer a second adaptation of Frank Herbert’s famous sci-fi novel, following David Lynch’s 1984 film starring Kyle MacLachlan and Patrick Stewart.

Villeneuve produces the project, set to be released by Warner Bros, having also written the film’s script, alongside A Star is Born‘s Eric Roth and Prometheus‘s Jon Spaihts.

Here’s everything we know so far about the film.

Who’s in the cast?

Timothée Chalamet has been cast as the book’s protagonist Paul Atreides. Oscar Isaac, meanwhile, will play his father, Duke Leto Atreides, while Rebecca Ferguson will play his mother, Lady Jessica.

Stellan Skarsgård will play Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the story’s primary antagonist, while Dave Bautista will play Glossu Rabban, his violent and sadistic nephew.

Javier Bardem will play Stilgar, the Fremen chieftain of Sietch Tabr, while Zendaya will play Chani, Paul’s love interest and another Fremen character. Josh Brolin will play Gurney Halleck, a loyal troubadour warrior of the Atreides.

Jason Momoa will play Duncan Idaho, the Swordmaster of the Ginaz in the service of Duke Leto, while Charlotte Rampling will play the Reverend Mother Mohiam, the emperor’s truthsayer.

Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s David Dastmalchian will play Piter De Vries, a Mentant – a human trained to perform mental functions rivalling computers – who is in the service of Harkonnen.

What is the film’s plot?

The book is set in the far future, where humanity has abandoned computers in favour of training their minds to be capable of extremely complex tasks, relying on a rare drug known as “spice” in order to do so. It also improves their general health, extends life, and bestow limited prescience, making it a form of currency across the galactic empire.

It can only be found on Arrakis, an inhospitable desert planet inhabited by giant sandworms. Each planet in the empire is ruled by a Great House, swearing its allegiance to the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV.

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The Emperor suspects that Duke Leto Atreides of House Atreides represents a challenge to his authority, seeking to undermine him by assigning House Atreides control over Arrakis, despite it belonging to Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, of the rival House Harkonnen.

Is it connected to the David Lynch film?

Villeneuve’s film has no direct connection to the 1984 film. Although it’s now considered something of a cult classic, it was both a critical and box office failure, grossing $30.9m from a $40m budget.

The film originally starred frequent Lynch collaborator Kyle MacLachlan, who shared his thoughts on the reboot with AM to DM.

“I’m curious to see what happens, you know, he’s [Denis Villeneuve] getting together a great cast obviously, really talented people,” the actor said. “It’s a challenging piece of material to try to bring to the screen, so I wish him luck with that, if anyone can do it, he’ll do a great job. He’s a terrific filmmaker... The book, I’m kind of a nerd about the book.”

“I read it when I was 15 for the first time. I know the book very well. There are three sections, you can break that into three movies and still have a lot left over.”

When will it be released?

Dune is set to be released on 20 November 2020. Filming is set to take place in Budapest and Jordan this spring.

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