Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has long been touted as our most anticipated film of 2020 and following a first look image at the film’s lead hero Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), we now have an expanded look into the world and characters that exist within it.
Vanity Fair once again brings a brand new selection of images to audiences, alongside an expanded look into the creation of this epic science fiction film, which will be split into two parts at the insistence of director Denis Villeneuve, whom has long sighted this adaptation as his passion project.
“I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” says Villeneuve. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”
To bring this film to life the director has assembled an incredible cast of talented performers who include the likes of Timothee Charalemt as Paul Atreides, Dune’s central character; Rebecca Ferguson as Paul’s mother Lady Jessica; Oscar Isaac as Paul’s father, Duke Leto Atreides, Lord of the House Atreides; Josh Brolin as Gurney Helleck, weapons master of House Atreides; Jason Momoa as Duncan Idado, swordmaster of House Atreides; Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat, a Mentat loyal to House Atreides; Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh, a Suk doctor in the employ of the Atreides family; Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, sworn enemy to Leto and former steward of Arrakis; Dave Bautista as ‘Beast’ Glossu Rabban, the brutish nephew of Baron Harkonnen; David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries, a twisted Mentat loyal to the Baron; Zendaya as Chani, Fremen daughter of Imperial Planetologist Liet-Kynes and Paul’s love interest; Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet-Kynes, Imperial Planetologist and Javier Bardem as Stilgar, leader of the Fremen.
In addition to this unbelievable cast that Villeneuve has assembled for Dune, the director has also pulled together an incredible line-up of behind-the-scenes collaborators for this project including cinematographer Greig Fraser and composer Hans Zimmer, who are bringing their talents to bear in a big way on this production. From thee new images it’s clear that Fraser’s lens will capture some extraordinary images, and the film’s production and locations, including the likes of Jordan and Abu Dubai, and these crisp vistas and seemingly unending desert landscapes will truly transport audiences to a new realm and landscape.
Dune has some of the most amazing character ever committed to the printed page, and Villeneuve is working his own magic here to expand on them, and make them his own. One such character is Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica, mother to Paul and Duke Leto’s concubine, who has immense power within the narrative. Villeneuve has described Lady Jessica as a ‘warrior priestess’ and the importance of Lady Jessica to the success of Dune’s narrative was not lost on actress Rebecca Ferguson.
“She’s a mother, she’s a concubine, she’s a soldier,” says Ferguson. “Denis was very respectful of Frank’s work in the book, [but] the quality of the arcs for much of the women have been brought up to a new level. There were some shifts he did, and they are beautifully portrayed now.”
The other character whom Villeneuve spent considerable time developing for the film was Dune’s chief antagonist, the brutal and monstrous Baron Harkonnen, who will be played by Stellen Skarsgard, and for the moment, along side Dave Bautisa’s ‘Beast’ Rabban and the rest of the Harkonnen host, is yet to be seen.
Considerable prosthetics have been used to bring the character to life, and Villeneuve’s take on the classic bad guy character sees the Baron as less of a mad man and more of a predator. “As much as I deeply love the book, I felt that the baron was flirting very often with caricature,” says Villeneuve. “And I tried to bring him a bit more dimension. That’s why I brought in Stellan. Stellan has something in the eyes. You feel that there’s someone thinking, thinking, thinking—that has tension and is calculating inside, deep in the eyes. I can testify, it can be quite frightening.”
Some of the coolest images from this new set released by Vanity Fair highlight the film’s supporting cast including the likes of Oscar Issac’s Duke Leto, Josh Brolin’s tough-willed warrior Gurney Helleck and Jason Momoa’s elegant swordmaster Duncan Idaho. The new look at these characters gives us an insight into the world of the House of Atreides, which seems to meld ideas of both classic European and Japanese design with their incredible full-plate science fiction armour, and their perfectly crafted weaponry. Both Isaac and Momoa look particularly great in Dune, with Isaac possessing this commanding presence of command as Leto and Momoa having this Samurai elegance to him as Duncan.
One of the most beautiful images also showcases one of the film’s most important central characters, Chani, a native Fremen daughter of Arrakis, and the love interest for Chalamet’s Paul. This image is absolutely stunning and Zendaya perfectly captures the very essence of Chani and the Fremen people. There’s a beauty to her, but also a savageness, and a sense that perhaps she has seen more than she has supposed to see and you can feel that she’s a survivor. It’s a beautiful image and one that so clearly captures the very essence of what this Dune film is going to be like.
Everything about this first set of images for Dune is cause for excitement, and these images showcase a beautifully rendered science fiction universe that will be amazing to explore and watch when Dune arrives in cinemas on December 26.
Source: Vanity Fair
Images: Roadshow Films