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Film / Dune (2021)

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"An animal caught in a trap would gnaw off its own leg to escape. What will you do?"
Gaius Helen Mohiam

Dune is an epic Space Opera film and a new feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal 1965 novel Dune, produced by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. It is directed by Denis Villeneuve and co-written by Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth, and will cover roughly the first half of the book. A second film to cover the whole story is planned.

In the far future of humanity, Duke Leto Atreides accepts stewardship of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, the Spice, a drug which extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought and makes foldspace travel possible. Though Leto knows the opportunity is an intricate trap set by his enemies, he takes his Bene Gesserit concubine Lady Jessica, young son and heir Paul, and most of his trusted advisers to Arrakis. Leto takes control of the Spice mining operation, which is made perilous by the presence of giant sandworms. A bitter betrayal leads Paul and Jessica to the Fremen, natives of Arrakis who live in the deep desert.


The cast is pretty star-studded, with Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Zendaya as Chani, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries, Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat and Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh.

The film was originally scheduled for release on December 18, 2020 but was pushed back to October 1, 2021 due to scheduling issues caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is currently slated to have a simultaneous release on HBO Max. Villeneuve has also been announced to showrun Dune: The Sisterhood, a live action Spin-Off series set in his film's universe and focusing on the Bene Gesserit, for HBO Max.


For the other live-action adaptations of Dune, see Dune (1984) and Frank Herbert's Dune.

Previews: Official Trailer.

Dune provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Art Imitates Art: One of the shots of Paul in Caladan from the trailer is directly based on Caspar David Friedrich's picture Wanderer above the Sea of Fog.
  • Bald of Evil: In contrast to both prior adaptations which gave them flaming red hair (and the book, where their hair was not described other than Rabban's brother being dark-haired), the trailer shows that Baron Harkonnen and Rabban are either shaven or bald, as are the Harkonnen troops.
  • Bear Hug: In the trailer, Duncan is happy to see Paul, gives him a hug and lifts him doing so.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: In the trailer, Duncan is quite expressive when welcoming Paul with a Bear Hug. He's also ready to "fight like a demon", and shouts when throwing himself in battle against the Sardaukar. Bonus point for being played by Jason Momoa, who has a certain knack for playing these.
  • Deflector Shields: Paul Atreides activates a Holtzman personal shield on himself when training with Gurney Halleck in the trailer. While the devices were worn on belts in the books and earlier adaptations, in this film they're worn on the wrist, and the shields also glow blue when struck and red when penetrated.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In the trailer, Paul answers "Yes" to a question about often having dreams of things that end up happening.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: In the trailer, Reverend Mother Mohiam is completely dismissive of Duke Leto Atreides, one of the most powerful men in the universe.
    Mohiam: You have proven you can rule yourself. Now you must learn to rule others... something none of your ancestors learned.
    Paul: My father rules an entire planet.
    Mohiam: He's losing it.
    Paul: He's getting a richer one.
    Mohiam: He will lose that one too.
  • Girl of My Dreams: In the trailer, Paul first sees Chani in his dreams.
  • Lamprey Mouth: In the trailer, Shai-Hulud's gigantic mouth is more lamprey-looking than previous adaptations.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: The trailer features a cover of Pink Floyd's "Eclipse".
  • Mysterious Veil: The trailer shows both Reverend Mother Mohiam and the Atreides women wearing burqa-like veils that cover completely their heads, though they are clearly made to be see-through unlike the real life version.
  • Mythology Gag: The trailer shows several aesthetic elements that were introduced in the 1984 adaptation.
    • The Baron again undergoes bizarre oil baths, although this time he submerges himself completely on them rather than placing himself under a thin shower.
    • The Sardaukar are again hidden under full pressure suits (though not as voluminous as the 1984 version), despite in the book they wore regular military uniforms and helmets.
    • Rabban and the Harkonnen soldiers are clad in bulky green armor, while the Atreides workers wear black uniforms with high collars and kepi-like caps, both of them imitating their homologues from the 1984.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: As seen in the trailer, Shai-Hulud certainly qualifies in sheer size, along with (presumably) the other members of its species.
  • Sand Worm: Shai-Hulud appears in all its glory at the end of the trailer. A shot with Paul in the foreground shows that its individual scales are the size of buildings. And the one which attacks the spice harvester crew earlier on appears to be considerably bigger than that. These are creatures you would worship too if you had to live with them.
  • Screaming Warrior: Duncan shouts loudly before attacking Sardaukar invaders in the trailers.
  • Secret Test: The trailer shows Paul having to pass the Gom Jabbar test. Reverend Mother Mohiam puts a needle with the eponymous poison that can quickly kill him against his neck, and he must keep his hand in a box that inflicts tremendous pain on it lest he wants to get killed by the poison.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Viewers familiar with the book will be able to tell from the first trailer that Duncan Idaho survives the Harkonnens' initial attack on House Atreides. Whether he becomes a case of Spared by the Adaptation or Dies Differenty In Adaptation remains to be seen.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Some ships the shape of which reminds of a zeppelin can be seen in the trailer.

Alternative Title(s): Dune 2020


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