The Dune franchise first began back in the 1960s, with the publication of the original book by Frank Herbert. It was one of the first modern science fiction novel series to conceive of an entire interconnected universe, with 23 books and counting. But though Dune has a passionate fandom, all attempts to bring it to the big screen have been failures thus far, with 1984's David Lynch film as the gold standard of "Why One Should Never Attempt To Adapt Dune." And yet, these Dune photos from the upcoming movie expected later this year have the fandom hoping, this time, things will be different.
One reason Dune is such a difficult property to bring to the big screen is the meticulously intricate world-building of the feudal interstellar empire known as "The Imperium." In the 1980s, when the original film came out, computer technology wasn't at the level needed to bring Herbert's vision fully to life. (It also starred Sting. Don't ask.)
But the books are also profoundly political, and the film got hung up on the convoluted ins and outs of the Great Houses that control the various planets in the Imperium. Before Game of Thrones, such political maneuverings had never been brought to screen in a way that captivated audiences.
But this is 2020, and director Denis Villeneuve now has a level of CGI at his disposal that was once considered unimaginable. And political science-fiction has never been more popular. Add in an all-star cast, and this could be the Dune adaptation fans have been waiting for.
Dune focuses on House Atreides, a noble family that has moved to the desert planet known as Arrakis, to oversee the mining of one of the most valuable substances in the galaxy, the spice known as melange.
Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the heir to House Atreides.
As mentioned above, Arrakis is a desert planet. To function on the surface, one must wear what is known as a "stillsuit."
Oscar Isaac plays Paul's father, Duke Leto Atreides.
Zendaya is Chani, Paul's eventual love interest. She's the Fremen daughter of Imperial Planetologist Liet-Kynes. The Fremen are the native people of Arrakis, and Chani is someone who Paul begins having visions of when the family arrives to live on the planet. When they meet, he believes that he knows her, but to her, he's a (rather creepy) stranger.
And Jason Momoa plays Duncan Idaho, the swordmaster of House Atreides, and mentor to Paul.
The film also co-stars Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, David Dastmalchian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster.
Dune is currently scheduled to arrive just before the winter holidays on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.