Some consider Frank Herbert’s Dune to be the greatest science-fiction novel… ever. And some also consider Denis Villeneuve to be one of the greatest sci-fi directors of the moment, following his work on Arrival, Enemy, and Blade Runner 2049. So handing Dune to Villeneuve seems like a match made in heaven, though we were reserving full judgment until we witnessed the first full Dune trailer. And now that it has dropped, all we can say is, “Inject this directly into my veins.” Here’s the full Dune trailer, courtesy of Warner Bros.
The trailer serves as a proper introduction for Dune audience members who might not be up to speed with Frank Herbert’s novel. We meet Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), scion of the House Atreides, who undoubtedly is destined for great accomplishments. First, though, he must absorb a Bible’s worth of life lessons handed down by his mother (Rebecca Ferguson), his father (Oscar Isaac) and his chief mentor, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin).
The first thing that struck me was the cast assembled by Denis Villeneuve. Aside from the names just mentioned, the Dune ensemble rounds out with an endless array of heavy hitters, including Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgard, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, and Javier Bardem.
But it’s the completion of the world that Denis Villeneuve drops them into that will make audiences want to witness Dune (and hopefully get the chance to see it on the big screen come December). Paul is having visions. In them, he sees a contemporary in Chani (Zendaya), and the promise of life in a new land. We learn of a Crusade that is on the horizon, and follow Paul as he rises to the challenge of being a leader for his people.
From there, it’s just epic scenes of vast locations and battles that speak to the insane level of commitment Denis Villeneuve is attempting to bring to this adaptation of Dune. The filmmaker’s a lifelong fan, and has claimed he wouldn’t even have attempted Dune if Warner Bros. didn’t allow him to divide the movie up into two parts. When we see the scale of the story being told here, it makes sense. This is a meal, and we need to savor it.
One challenge we await is how much of Dune will we need to know heading into the adaptation. Villeneuve has proven himself to be an outstanding storyteller, but not one who waits for the audience to catch up. We have been debating around the CinemaBlend offices if it made sense to read (or reread) Herbert’s novel before heading into Villeneuve’s movie, or to let the film adaptation of Dune be our guide to this world.
What say you? How will you approach the adaptation? And what do you think of this first trailer? Let us know in the comments section down below.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.