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Dune- the next sci-fi epic?

Thanks to an exclusive look at the long-awaited project by Denis Villeneuve, Variety has given fans and audiences their first glimpse at the next sci-fi epic. But what is it all about?

Director Denis Villeneuve with Javier Bardem
Director Villeneuve with Javier Bardem

Dune is set in the distant future, and tells the story of noble families who control planets or "fiefs" to mine precious resources, in this case, a valuable drug known as "the spice".

Duke Leto Atreides played by Oscar Isaac takes stewardship of the dangerous planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, where he and his family soon realise the problems and conflicts related to the most vital element in the galaxy.

The film is directed by sci-fi aficionado Denis Villeneuve, known for his critically acclaimed hits Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. Warner Bros clearly has high hopes for the project, as they have not only greenlit a sequel (a second part similar to their hit IT franchise), but also a spin-off series that will premiere on HBO Max.

The set photos released today show-off the premier talent Dune has in its arsenal, with rising stars and fan favourites Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya taking leading roles.

Timothée Chalamet alongside Rebecca Ferguson, pulling off his usual charm despite his futuristic attire

Chalamet plays Paul Atreides the son to Isaac and Rebecca Fergusons' characters making Paul the heir to the Atreides legacy. Zendaya will star alongside Chalamet as his supposed love-interest- Chani who will appear to Paul in vivid and mysterious dreams. A love story literally written in the stars seems perfect for young fans to cling to in the wake of the two actors' many individual successes, especially in teen-friendly fare.

Boasting other big names such as Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, and Stellan Skarsgård, Dune isn't messing around in creating a true big-screen epic that is needed now more than ever.

Warner Bros and Villeneuve are rightfully bringing back the days of star-studded pictures, with performers all having appeared in other big tentpole franchises. Dune seems to be the perfect new world for audiences to explore as the original novel has been cited as influencing the likes of Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and the Alien franchise.

Elements such as psychic powers and "spice" will be familiar territory for fans of science fiction, especially when it comes to Star Wars. The original 1965 novel by Frank Herbert deals with deep concepts such as politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, all making the book thus far, difficult to adapt.

Similar early sci-fi influencers have attempted to break the box office such as John Carter, Mad Max: Fury Road and Blade Runner 2049, all of which struggled to make back their understandably large production costs.

Films like Jupiter Ascending and Valerian have also tried to set up expansive sci-fi worlds, only to face critical and financial failure. Thankfully Villeneuve has a prestige catalogue of cinematic greats behind him, with Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049 all receiving high critical acclaim and thousands of fans. If there's a franchise to promote this talented director in the way he deserves, its Dune.

The cast of the House Atreides

In his interview with Variety Villeneuve said- “honestly, it’s by far the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life.”

Promising increased representation, family conflicts, and exciting creatures and cultures, Dune has high hopes as the next cinematic epic, covering both the big and small screen.

What do you think? Are you excited for Dune, and have you ever seen the book's other adaptations? Let us know in the comments!

#dune #warnerbros #denisvilleneuve

Written by David Osgar

More information can be found in Variety's original coverage at

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