The first Dune trailer was introduced with a panel, which included even more brand-new footage. Additionally, members of the cast spoke to Stephen Colbert about what Frank Herbert fans can expect when the big screen adaptation opens in theaters later this year. Herbert’s source material inspired the biggest sci-fi franchises of all time, including Star Wars and Aliens, but nobody has been able to properly translate Herbert’s words for the screen. Alejandro Jodorowsky famously tried to get the movie made in the 1970s and wasn’t able to pull it off. David Lynch successfully made an adaptation in the 1980s, but it is not considered to be the ultimate adaptation.
Now, Denis Villeneuve is behind the camera and he’s splitting the first Dune book into two movies. The original story is dense with character details, along with concepts of metaphysics and human consciousness. A 2000 Sci-Fi Channel series attempted to get close to Frank Herbert’s source material, but it ultimately did not have the budget to pull it off in a way that does the book justice.
With that being said, there are a lot of Frank Herbert fans who are skeptical about Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. The director knows this and had his plan right from the beginning. “The story is so rich and complex that, in order to be faithful to the book, we’ll need to make at least two movies,” he said. “That was a deal right at the start.” Villeneuve and the rest of the cast will need to travel back to the deserts of Jordan to finish the second part, though it’s unclear when that will be able to happen. “My argument was that they didn’t shoot Jaws, in a swimming pool,” Villeneuve said during the panel. “The title is Dune – we need to be in the real environment.”
Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides can be heard saying, “fear is the mind-killer, fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration,” in the Dune trailer, which is Frank Herbert’s philosophy. Stephen Colbert, who is a huge Frank Herbert fan, asked Chalamet about that specific line of dialogue. The young actor had this to say.
“When conflict is so overwhelming that to try to attack it with action or words or a plan of action is itself so overwhelming that that designation of anxiety or fear is actually a wild primal reaction. It does you no good, and if you can center that fear… there is a middle ground a sort of Zen like calmness that helps you through the eye of the storm.”
Denis Villeneuve has a lot of pressure to deliver a satisfying take on Frank Herbert’s book. However, it seems that the early reactions on social media to the first Dune footage have been overwhelmingly positive, which should bode well for the project as a whole when it is released. As to when that will be, Warner Bros. still has the movie on schedule to open this December, though one would not be surprised to see a delay before the time comes. In the meantime, you can check out the Dune panel above, thanks to the Twitter Movies account.