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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.

  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Stellan Skarsgård is not at all fat like Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. It took hours of makeup for him to look like that.
    • 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 half-black 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.
  • Cast the Expert: 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.
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  • 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's come to live with the decision; he notes the studio offered assurances that the film would get its planned sequel based on its streaming success, even if it underperforms theatrically. (And, finally, it should be pointed out that the studio kept their word: Dune: Part II was greenlit on October 26, 2021, for an October 20 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, arguably younger than both.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • He Also Did: Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, and David Dastmalchian previously appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Oscar Isaac joined the MCU after the release of this movie for Moon Knight (2022).
  • 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.
  • Milestone Celebration: Had the film been released in 2020 as originally planned, it would've been just in time for Dune's 55th anniversary. Ultimately, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifting of its release to 2021 made the film miss the intended milestone.
  • 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 is played over the first trailer, which doesn't make it into the final cut of the movie.
      "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, hence the 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.
  • Promoted Fanboy: 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 and participated 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 was considered for a Remake Cameo. He dropped out due to schedule conflicts with Kaamelott: Premier Volet.
    • 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.