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Trivia / Dune (2021)

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For the Trivia page of the Dune novel and other adaptations of it, see here.

For the Trivia page of Dune: Part Two, see here.

  • Ability over Appearance: Liet and Chani are described as being respectively blond and red-haired, but they are played here by the black Sharon Duncan-Brewster and the biracial Zendaya.
  • All-Star Cast: The film packs a pretty big cast, with Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Charlotte Rampling, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, David Dastmalchian and Chang Chen.
  • Approval of God:
  • Awesome, Dear Boy:
    • Hans Zimmer is a fan of the original books and had always wanted to score a film adaptation. He turned down composing for Tenet just so he could work on this film, making Tenet the first Christopher Nolan film he didn't score in 15 years.
    • Javier Bardem first read the book at the age of 25 and it became one of his favorites, with Stilgar coincidentally being his favourite character. He recalled becoming more and more excited during the phone call where Denis Villeneuve offered him the part, as he listened to Denis' description of the character and pieced together who it was.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Much like the Mentat Mantra from the 1984 film, the Sardaukar motto "dreams are messages from the deep" has become popular at the level of the Litany against Fear and other quotes from the books, even although it doesn't really come from the books and was actually invented for the film.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Charlotte Rampling was offered the role of Lady Jessica in Alejandro Jodorowsky's unmade adaptation. She balked upon learning of a scene that would have featured a hundred extras defecating at once. Over forty years later, she was cast as the Reverend Mother.
  • Creator Backlash: Denis Villeneuve was furious at the decision to put the film on HBO Max along with the rest of the studio's 2021 films, accusing it of destroying any possibility of the franchise continuing. Legendary Pictures executives weren't happy about this, either (likewise with Godzilla vs. Kong). However, he later said that he and Warner Bros. had a discussion about the situation and after giving him some assurances, and with Christopher Nolan (who was similarly opposed to the decision) offering him moral support, he came to live with the decision. He noted the studio offered assurances that the film would get its planned sequel based on its streaming success, even if it underperforms theatrically. The studio kept their word: Dune: Part Two was greenlit on October 26, 2021 for a late 2023 release date, based on the success of an estimated 1.9 million streams during its debut weekend, in addition to having the 10th-highest-grossing film opening of the year.
  • Colbert Bump: The film did this for the entire practice of throat-singing after the Sardaukar training scene achieved Memetic Mutation status. Look in the comments for any video that includes throat-singing and chances are high you'll see Sardaukar being mentioned.
  • Dawson Casting: As usual, the 15-year-old Paul Atreides from the novel (at the beginning of the story) is played by someone who's over 20 with Timothée Chalamet. It's harder to notice now, however, as although Chalamet is actually around the same age Kyle MacLachlan and Alec Newman were at their respective times when they played the role (in the 1984 film and 2000 miniseries, respectively), he happens to look younger, and arguably more so than both actors.
  • Delayed Release Tie-In: Collector-oriented action figures for the film appeared in Target stores in Feburary 2021, reflecting the original release date of November 20, 2020 (the US release date ended up being October 22, 2021). Prior to that, copies of the original novel with cover art drawn from the movie had appeared in bookstores. The Funko Pop! figures were also released months before the film hit theaters.
  • Development Gag:
    • Back when he was working on his very ambitious but ultimately doomed version of Dune in The '70s, Alejandro Jodorowsky wanted Pink Floyd for the soundtrack. The first trailer for this film uses a cover of "Eclipse" from The Dark Side of the Moon, the very album they made when Jodorowsky was trying to put his adaptation together.
    • Jodorowsky also wanted Charlotte Rampling for Jessica, but she refused upon hearing what kind of film he was making (in particular a scene in which 2000 extras playing Harkonnen soldiers would defecate at once in the Atreides palace). She now plays Mohiam in this film universe.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: The young women playing the Baron's servants both have Alopecia Universalis, which renders them naturally completely hairless all over the body. This is a feature of all the inhabitants of Giedi Prime in this adaptation. Similarly, Stephen Collins (who plays the deaf Harkonnen trooper) is himself deaf.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Jason Momoa's facial hair goes through at least three distinctive stages in the film starting with his trademark full beard, meaning he had to progressively shave his beard.
  • Looping Lines: Neil Bell spoke the Bashar's lines in English on set, then dubbed over them in the Black Speech heard in the final film in post.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • In the first trailer from 2020, there's a take of Paul screaming loudly during the gom jabbar test. That take is not in the film, where he doesn't scream (not on camera, anyway) and keeps his face mostly straight.
    • A conversation between Paul and the Reverend Mother, during the same scene, made it from the book to the first trailer, but not to the final cut of the film:
      "My father rules an entire planet."
      "He's losing it."
      "He's getting a richer one."
      "He'll lose that one, too."
  • Multiple Languages, Same Voice Actor: Charlotte Rampling dubbed herself in the French version of the film, hence her character's noticeable accent in that dub.
  • Playing Against Type: Emilio Treviño voices the brooding Classical Anti-Hero Paul in the Latin American Spanish dub, a far cry from his more cheerful roles such as Robin and Billy Batson/Shazam.
  • Production Posse:
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Making an adaptation of Dune was a lifelong ambition for Denis Villeneuve, since he had fallen in love with the original book as a teenager to the point of storyboarding his imagined film version of it with a friend. As early as 2016, he was quoted saying, "A longstanding dream of mine is to adapt 'Dune,' but it’s a long process to get the rights, and I don’t think I will succeed." However, his enthusiasm and extremely detailed vision helped secure him as the director, and in the wake of the film's production, he repeatedly summarized his goal with the film as "[making] a movie for the teenager I was back then."
      From Vanity Fair: "For the first time, I think I did this movie for a single audience member, which is me. I read the book 40 years ago. I deeply fall, felt in love with it. I was aware that there are millions of hardcore [fans] of the book out there, but I took upon my shoulder to deal with the one that I was the most afraid of, which is me."
    • According to this interview, Timothée Chalamet is a fan of David Lynch's version.
  • Real-Life Relative: In the Canadian French dub, Xavier Dolan and his father Manuel Tadros voice Paul Atreides and Thufir Hawat, respectively.
  • Reality Subtext: Duncan Idaho speaks admirably of the Fremen and the ingenuity of the devices they've created to survive on their native Arrakis. Jason Momoa has native Hawaiian and Native American ancestry and has been a vocal supporter of indigenous causes, even participating in a protest of the building of a telescope on land sacred to Hawaiians.
  • Release Date Change: It was originally slated for release on November 20, 2020, but Warner Bros. rescheduled it to December 18, 2020 in August 2019. The film was then pushed back to October 1, 2021 because of scheduling issues caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Then it was decided to release it at the same time on HBO Max (for one month). Denis Villeneuve, several actors and Legendary Pictures protested that decision. It was later pushed further to October 22 to avoid Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (which would later be taken off the calendar, and was replaced by Venom: Let There Be Carnage). This proved to be a fortuitous move as it allowed Dune control of IMAX auditoriums for two weeks, rather than having to surrender them to No Time to Die after just one; the film made a well-above-average percentage of its money in the format.
  • Revival by Commercialization: The use of Pink Floyd's "Eclipse" in the first trailer caused the digital demand for the song to skyrocket north of 1700% in the days that followed the trailer's release.
  • Role Reprise: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Yolanda Vidal (Gaius Helen Mohiam) and Pedro D'Aguillón Jr. (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen) reprise their roles from the second Mexican dub of the 1984 film. For D'Aguillón Jr., it would be the final time he played the Baron before his passing in February 2022.
  • Short Run in Peru: The film debuted in France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland on September 15, over a month before the US and Chinese releases of October 22, and launched in most of Europe by September 17; it hit several more territories in Asia, Latin America and Europe in the two days preceding its US launch, with only Australia set to open after the US (December 2). Strangely, it opened in Japan before the US (October 15), despite Japan typically being the final territory most Hollywood movies open in. This may have been done to mitigate worldwide box office losses to piracy given the film's streaming release in the US.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The producers wanted Emma Roberts for Princess Irulan, but she wasn't free. Rather curiously, the character is completely Adapted Out in the finished film, suggesting some serious rewrites after this happened. Florence Pugh has been announced as portraying the role in Part Two.
    • Sting, who played Feyd-Rautha in the Lynch film, was considered for a Remake Cameo. He dropped out due to schedule conflicts with Kaamelott: Premier Volet. The character, also Adapted Out of Part One, had his role in the plot filled by Glossu Rabban, and is played by Austin Butler in Part Two.
    • Piter de Vries was apparently going to appear a lot more in this film, with scenes of him torturing a prisoner with Beast Rabban and of him meeting Thufir Hawat being sent to the cutting floor.
  • Word of God: After the movie was released, Villeneuve confirmed in an interview that the Baron's other nephew Feyd-Rautha would appear in Part Two after being Adapted Out for this one, quelling fan concerns about him becoming a fully Composite Character with Rabban, which many feared would not work.