(NEW YORK) — Just as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is the best-selling fantasy book series of all time, Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune is science-fiction’s equal. Now, fans are hoping Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Denis Villenueve can do for Dune what Peter Jackson did for Lord of the Rings.
Judging from the just-released first trailer, things are very promising.
Set thousands of years in the future, Dune tells the story of the noble Atreides family, which takes over the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The planet is the sole supplier of ‘the spice,’ a substance that affords the ability to navigate space-time for interstellar travel, making it, and Arrakis, the most valuable commodity in the universe. But the evil House Harkonnen all but destroys House Atreides, leaving its sole heir, young Paul Atreides, to forge an alliance with the planet’s native population, the Fremen, who also believe Paul to be a prophesied messiah who himself will rule the universe.
Call Me By Your Name Oscar-nominee Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul, prominently featured in the trailer, which also gives us a generous sampling of Dune’s epic scale. That includes a really good look at Dune’s signature creature, the mammoth sandworms — desert-dwelling behemoths that can swallow entire ships and vehicles, and which Paul comes to learn are the origin of the spice itself.
Dune was first adapted for the big screen in 1984 by David Lynch, an effort that was a box office flop but is now a cult favorite. SyFy later made Dune into two miniseries.
Dune also stars Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Stellan Skarsgard and Dave Bautista. It’s currently scheduled to debut in theaters December 18.
By Christopher Watson
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