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Dune Star Offers ‘Advice’ To Audiences Ahead Of Denis Villeneuve’s Movie

Dune screenshot

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Film adaptations of popular novels are notoriously hit or miss. Some can be great successes (The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) while others...aren’t (cough, Eragon, cough). That’s part of the reason why Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal science fiction novel Dune is so highly anticipated. Will the movie introduce a new generation of fans to the world of Arrakis, or will the complex backstory simply confuse viewers? Luckily for the uninitiated, Dune actor David Dastmalchian has the perfect plan to prepare people for Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic.

David Dastmalchian, who will play the villainous Mentat Piter De Vries, recently chatted with ScreenRant about Dune. Realizing that there’s a lot of backstory necessary to fully enjoy the film, David Dastmalchian offered up the perfect method for preparing to watch the movie. He explained:

Here's my recipe, and my advice to everybody who's reading this right now: read the book first, right now, because you still have until October for Dune's release. Let's call September ‘Dune Book September,’ and then we'll call October ‘Dune Movie October.’ So, you're going to read the book, and then you're going to go see Denis' version of the film on IMAX the weekend that it opens in cinemas. And then there are actually two other adaptations that have been done, as well as one that almost got accomplished.

That's sage advice indeed. Similarly to the HBO series Game of Thrones, Dune has a laundry list of characters that must be memorized in order to understand the plot. Reading the original source material can only help viewers understand Denis Villeneuve’s version of Dune. However, there are previous adaptations of Dune, most famously the 1984 film by David Lynch. Are they worth watching as well? David Dastmalchian thinks so - and he’s even come up with the proper viewing order. He said:

I would recommend watching David Lynch's, I would recommend watching the Syfy series, and then watch the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. That's the order I would recommend, just personally. This is me talking: read the book, then go see Denis' film, and then in November you could do Lynch's, the Syfy version and the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. And then we'll all be authorities on Dune, and we'll get online together to have long discussions and debates. I can't wait to hear everybody's reactions to what Denis has created. It's nothing short of a masterpiece.

So there you have it: the ideal reading/viewing schedule that will get you up to speed on the fascinating sci-fi world of Dune. And, like David Dastmalchian said, you have plenty of time to dive in. The movie, starring Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin, will hit theaters and HBO Max on October 22. If you're interested in the latter option, sign up for the streaming service with this link.

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.