Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 science fiction novel Dune has long been considered a dense, sprawling, essentially unadaptable narrative, with the wreckage of several mediocre-to-disastrous attempts serving as a warning about the perils of trying to bring this story to the big screen. But it looks like director Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Sicario) has finally done the story justice, because the film’s first trailer has arrived, and wow, this thing rules. Feast your eyes on one of the best trailers of the year below.
Hell yes. I read Herbert’s novel earlier this year, and the imagery that Villeneuve was able to capture in this adaptation makes it feel like you’re stepping directly into the pages of the book. Everything from the sheer scope of the desert vistas to the battle footage to the incredible sand worm moment at the end of the trailer manages to feel tactile and real in a way that David Lynch’s movie adaptation never accomplished.
And hey, I get it: after ten years of being beaten over the head with the “dark and gritty” approach in mainstream blockbusters, I can understand why you might watch this and sort of shrug your shoulders and think, “What’s the big deal? I’ve seen this kind of thing before.” But that familiarity isn’t accidental: Dune is one of the most influential pieces of storytelling of the 20th century, serving as an inspiration for Star Wars and creating an untold number of ripple effects across the genre. Seeing an adaptation that manages to stick so close to the source material while bringing an awe-inspiring sense of visual scope to the proceedings is exciting – and remember, this is only the first entry in what is supposed to be a two-film saga, so there’s more where this came from.
Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:
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, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Dune hits theaters on December 18, 2020.
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