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Dune (2021)

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It begins.
Genre: Epic
Sci-fi
Action
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Produced By: Cale Boyter
Joe Caracciolo Jr.
Mary Parent
Denis Villeneuve
Written By: Jon Spaihts
Denis Villeneuve
Eric Roth
Based On: Dune
by Frank Herbert
Starring: Timothée Chalamet
Rebecca Ferguson
Oscar Isaac
Josh Brolin
Stellan Skarsgård
Dave Bautista
Stephen McKinley Henderson
Zendaya
David Dastmalchian
Chang Chen
Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Charlotte Rampling
Jason Momoa
Javier Bardem
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Greig Fraser
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: September 3, 2021 (Venice)
September 15, 2021 (International)
October 22, 2021 (United States)
Runtime: 156 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $165 million
Box Office: $400.2 million
Franchise: Dune
Sequel: Dune: Part Two


"I could have phrased that better, I'm not re-filming that. Anyhow if you're a Dune fan if it's your first visiting Dune, got for it, go watch it, it is a bit of a slow burn in that Denis Villeneuve kind of way, but that's kind of what he does but you're in for a visual treat here man, you're in for a movie that's not a move that you watch it's a world you experience. That is to say for me this Dune movie was my favourite cinematic experiences in the theatre this year, and it is awesometacular"
Jeremy Jahns
"There hasn't been, what most people would consider, the definitive, big-screen version of Dune… I think until now, because this movie genuinely is masterful."
Chris Stuckmann

Dune (also known as ⊃∪∩⪽ or titled onscreen as Dune: Part One or just ⊃∪∩⪽: Part One) is a 2021 American epic science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, and Eric Roth. It is the first of a two-part adaptation of the popular 1965 sci-fi novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, which primarily covering the first half story of the book.

The ensemble cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. Dune premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2021. Warner Bros. Pictures theatrically released the film internationally on September 15, 2021, and then in the United States on October 22, where it have a simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service for 31 days.

The film received positive reviews from critics as well as critical acclaim by audiences and fans of the series alike, with many calling it best sci-fi movies in years and praise for its visuals, scope, musical score, cinematography and overall execution under Villeneuve's direction, while other critics commented on issues related to the film's pacing and handling of the source material. It was the box office success during its theatrical run, grossing $400 million worldwide against on a production budget of $165 million, as of February 2, 2022.

A second half/sequel, Dune: Part Two, is scheduled to release on November 17, 2023, following the critical and commercial success of the first film, less than a week after its domestic release, primarily covering the second half story from the first novel.

Plot

Prologue

Before the movie starts, a phrase in an alien language is shown and heard as a caption with the English translation, "Dreams are messages from the deep." appears on a black background. Afterwards, it starts with Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures logo.

"My planet Arrakis is so beautiful when the sun is low. Rolling over the sands, you can see the spice in the air. At nightfall the spice harvesters land. The outsiders race against time to avoid the heat of the day. They ravage our lands in front of our eyes. Their cruelty to my people is all I've known. What's to become of our world, Paul?"
Chani

The story begins with a woman telling a portion of her people's history on the desert planet, Arrakis. The woman, Chani, is a Fremen. She explains that since before she was born the planet has been ruled by the cruel Harkonnens who have grown enormously rich harvesting the psychogenic substance "melange" also known as the spice. The Fremen have been trying to expel the Harkonnens, but to no avail. Recently, however, the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV has ordered the Harkonnens to leave Arrakis planet. Chani wonders who the new rulers will be.

Main Story

"Extreme temperatures and treacherous weather events make life outside the cities of Arrakis truly hostile, with sandstorms powerful enough to cut through metal. Only the native tribes known as the Fremen have adapted well enough to survive. Preferring to inhabit the remotest regions of Arrakis, the Fremen share the deep desert with the giant sandworms known to the Fremen as Shai-Hulud. Long exposure to spice has given the tribe their characteristic blue eyes, the Eyes of Ibad. Little else is known of the Fremen, except that they are dangerous and unreliable. Fremen attacks make spice harvesting extremely hazardous. For the Fremen, spice is the sacred hallucinogen which preservers life and brings enormous health benefits. For the Imperium, spice is used by the navigators of the Spacing Guild to find safe paths between the stars. Without spice, interstellar travel is impossible, making it by far the most valuable substance in the universe."
Narrator speakers

In 10191, on Caladan planet for the homeworld of House Atreides, Paul Atreides wakes up by doing his dream about the girl from the Fremen on the rainy night day. The next morning, he eats breakfast with his mother the Lady Jessica Atreides. A member of the quasi-religious order of the Bene Gesserit, Jessica has been trying to teach her son the special powers of her order. She tests Paul by having him try to compel her to pass him a glass of water. Paul is only partially successful. Paul learns about the planet Arrakis and its people. It is the only source of the psychoactive spice, which extends life and perception. Spice is necessary for interstellar travel since it makes possible the expanded consciousness of the navigators who plot faster than light jumps, "folding" space time to travel instantly from one planet to another. Paul's father, Duke Leto Atreides, along with soldier Gurney Halleck and mentat Thufir Hawat, receive an imperial envoy who formalizes the awarding of Arrakis to House Atreides. The emperor fears Leto's growing political power and popularity in the Landsraad, a conclave of noble houses. Leto recognizes that his appointment to oversee Arrakis is a trap of some kind, but cannot refuse an imperial offer. Paul asks his friend, the elite soldier Duncan Idaho to take him along when Duncan goes to Arrakis weeks ahead of time to scout things out. Duncan refuses. Paul confides that he's been having dreams about Arrakis and the Fremen, including one where Duncan falls in battle. Duncan dismisses this as merely a dream, telling Paul that "Everything important happens when we're awake".

Paul discusses his wish to travel to Arrakis early with his father, but Leto refuses, saying that he needs Paul by his side. He explains the political situation: the emperor has set up a conflict between House Atreides and House Harkonnen, a war which will weaken them both, to the benefit of the Emperor. Leto instead intends to strike an alliance with the Fremen in order to harness their "desert power" to his own and outwit the Emperor. Paul expresses his doubts about his ability to succeed his father as a leader. Leto confides his own doubts when he was young and insists that Paul will find his way to leadership, just as he did.

Days later, Paul is awoken during the night by his mother, Jessica, with news that Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam has arrived and wants to inquire about the strange dreams he has been having. Jessica explains that Mohiam is a respected — and high ranking member — of the Bene Gesserit; Paul is aware that the Bene Gesserit is an all-female group of spies and theologians who have enhanced powers. Paul has been training as a member of the Bene Gesserit under his mother. After being warned about the Bene Gesserit by a doctor, Paul enters the room and meets Mohiam. She subjects him to a test involving a poison needle called a gom jabbar. Despite being warned that failing the test would result in his death, Paul passes the test and is congratulated by Mohiam. As Mohiam leaves, she talks with Jessica about Paul being The One. Paul overhears the conversation and questions Jessica about it. Jessica reveals that the Bene Gesserit have been manipulating bloodline for centuries to eventually create someone who is capable of bringing peace to the houses. She remarks that some believe The One is already here.

Weeks later, House Atreides arrive on Arrakis with their soldiers. They are welcomed by a group of Atreides soldiers sent previously to get things ready. When they arrive, they are welcomed by the Fremen, who loudly chant “Lisan al Gaib”. Paul questions his mother on the meaning, and she reveals that it translates to “prophet”, or “messiah”, and means that the Bene Gesserit have been at work. Paul rebukes her, questioning if this means that they have been instilling superstition, but she merely replies that they have been getting things ready for the arrival. House Atreides settle in Arrakeen, the capital of Arrakis built by the Harkonnen. Arrakeen, Thufir Hawat notes, lies behind a large, natural wall that protects it from the powerful sandstorms that ravage the surface. Shortly after her talk with Paul and Jessica, Mohiam travels to Giedi Prime, the homeworld of House Harkonnen, and explains that the emperor supports their battle to usurp House Atreides from Arrakis, therefore ending the house and taking back control of Arrakis. Mohiam explains, however, that Jessica is under the protection of the Bene Gesserit, and by extension, Paul too. Vladimir agrees to spare them reluctantly, but makes it clear after Mohiam leaves that they are not safe from Arrakis.

Only days after their arrival at Arrakeen, Leto is informed that the equipment left by Harkonnen is substandard and the majority malfunctions; Leto believes that they have been set up to fail. Nonetheless, Leto, Paul and other figureheads of the house are invited on a tour of the operation in which they are shown a spice harvester in the desert by Dr, Liet-Kynes, the judge of change. Problems occur, however, when a sandworm approaches the harvester, drawn to the rhythmic sounds it emits. An extraction attempt is made, but the gear on the carryall fails and the harvester cannot be lifted to safety. Leto orders that the crew of 21 aboard be saved by transferring to Leto's small squadron of ornithopters. Further problems arise when Paul nearly falls victim to the sandworm but finds his visions intensified following the inhalation of the product in the spice bed.

House Atreides face further dangers in Arrakeen, when an attempt is made on Paul’s life. The attempt fails, but Leto puts the guards on high-alert. Only days later, the traitor is revealed to be Wellington Yueh, a Suk Doctor and friend of Jessica’s. Yueh disables the shields protecting Arrakeen and blocks Atreides’ communications, allowing a coalition of Harkonnen and Sardaukar troops to invade the city. Thousands of Atreides soldiers are killed and the Atreides stronghold falls. Yueh is able to incapacitate Leto, and explains that Baron Vladimir — the ruler of House Harkonnen — has taken his wife and he has made a bargain with the Duke’s life to retrieve his wife. Yueh replaces one of Leto’s teeth with a poison replica, citing that he must break the tooth when close enough to the Baron and release the poison. It will kill the Duke but should also kill the Baron.

During the invasion, Jessica and Paul are taken hostage by Harkonnen soldiers, who plan to eject them from the ship into the desert. In a desperate attempt to save his mother from being raped by the soldiers, Paul uses the voice of the Bene Gesserit, allowing his mother to be ungagged and command the soldiers to kill one another. Both Jessica and Paul are able to escape into the desert where they find a survival kit they have been left by Yueh. As the two sleep in the desert, it quickly becomes clear to the two that Leto is dead when they find House Atreides signet ring in the kit; as a result, Jessica welcomes Paul as the new Duke of Atreides. Meanwhile, back at Arrakeen, Yueh, despite fulfilling his part of the bargain and delivering the Duke to the Baron, is murdered by the Baron, who remarks that he is reuniting him with his wife in death, just as he promised. Moments later, Leto comes around from the poison dart, and is told by the Baron that Jessica and Paul are now dead. Leto is able to crush the tooth and release the poison. The majority of the court is killed by the vapor but the Baron is able to evade death, having deployed his shield only moments prior. He is later turned over to a group of healers who submerge him in a vat of dark oil. He receives a report from Rabban, who tells the Baron that Paul and Jessica flew into a sandstorm of incredible power and could not have survived.

Alone in the desert after their long night, Jessica and Paul are eventually found by Duncan, who brings the two to an old research station where they meet with Kynes. Kynes explains that the research station was created to bring life and greenery to Arrakis, but after the discovery of spice, plans were cancelled in favor of the desert. Not long after their arrival, however, they are found by Sardaukar troops. Several Fremen are killed during the attack and Duncan also falls as a result, joining his master, Leto in death. Kynes, Paul and Jessica are able to escape the facility, but Kynes is soon discovered by the troops and is stabbed through the chest with a blade. In a desperate attempt to protect the future of House Atreides, Kynes thumps the ground, attracting a sandworm and allowing herself and the troops to be swallowed by the merciless creature. Aware of the huge financial impacts that the coup has had on House Harkonnen — and the debt owed to the Emperor — Vladimir transfers control of Arrakis to his nephew, the cruel and sadistic Rabban. He orders Rabban to sell Harkonnen’s spice reserves and restart production, but not to sell too much as the price of spice would fall.

Jessica and Paul come face-to-face with a sandworm. After fleeing the research facility and stealing an ornithopter, Paul and Jessica eventually crash in the desert. Fearing they will be devoured by a sandworm, they scramble to the rocks but Paul finds himself face-to-face with a sandworm. He is surprised, however, when the sandworm merely looks at him instead of attacking. The worm is distracted momentarily by someone activating a thumper nearby. Whilst Paul and Jessica are thankful, Paul uses signs to alert Jessica that they are not alone. A seconds later, they are surrounded by Fremen. Among them, the Fremen are lead by Stilgar, but Paul finds himself mesmerized by Chani, the woman from his dreams. Fremen are reluctant to allow Paul and Jessica refuge, but eventually decide to do so when Jessica shows the two are good fighters. Tensions arise, however, when Jamis, a member of the tribe, protests against their joining and challenges Jessica to a duel. Given Jessica is a woman, she is unable to fight and Paul is forced to represent her. Despite being a skilled fighter, Jamis is bested by Paul and killed shortly after the start of the duel. Jessica is reluctant in joining the Fremen, but Paul insists, and the two join the Fremen on their journey to the stronghold with the aim of bringing peace to Arrakis. The movie ends with Chani says to Paul this is only the beginning, before heading out to desert journey.

Why The Movie Is A Mind Killer

  1. Compared to the 1984 film, it perfectly adapted Frank Herbert's novel, through some parts have been changed and added to fit the narrative. The film also features aesthetic elements that were introduced in the 1984 adaptation as well as Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune.
    • The painting and bull's head being boxed up as the Atreides leave Caladan. In the book, when they first arrive on Arrakis, a major scene has Jessica supervising the uncrating of those two items, and ruminating on the painting (a portrait of the Old Duke, Leto's father) and the bull's head belonging to the bull that killed him. In the movie, the horns of the bull are noticeably darkened, in the book, Shadout Mapes offers to clean the head to get the dirt off the horns, and Jessica has to explain that it's not dirt, but the Old Duke's blood.
    • When escaping from Arrakeen city by ornithopter, Idaho is targeted by a lasgun on the Harkonnen assault ship. The beam cuts through entire neighborhoods of the city as it tries to incinerate the deftly maneuvering craft. In the book, Duncan fools a group of Harkonnen aircraft into shooting a shield at full power, causing a catastrophic interaction between the two resulting in a sizable mushroom cloud and destruction of many Harkonnen forces.
    • Leto being woken up and intrigued by a light in the distant mountains just before he is betrayed and shot, and the attack begins is likely a nod to the book where such a light is suspected to be Harkonnen agents communicating with infiltrators in Arrakeen city.
    • This is the first adaptation to include the Draw Sword, Draw Blood aspect of unfixed crysknives.
    • Paul tells Gurney to "give us a song" before his training exercise, in reference to Gurney's penchant for singing in the novel, which he doesn't show in the movie itself.
    • Possibly unintentional, but te mystical hand signs performed by the Sardaukar throat singer (hand extended, palm turned up and down) are identical to those from the Bene Gesserit training Jessica gives Farad'n in Children of Dune.
    • In Jodorowsky' unmade notes, the Baron survives Yueh's poisoning by turning up his anti-gravity devices, floating up to the chamber's soft ceiling and breaking it with his head to breathe, from which he can ask for a gas mask before going back down. This version keeps the same basic move, although in this case the Baron cannot break out of the chamber and simply stays near the ceiling to keep himself as far from the poison as possible.
    • The portrayal of Giedi Prime—with the organic, dark curves of its cityscape and the bizarre six-legged black creature seen as a pet in the Harkonnens' throne room—evokes H. R. Giger's work, perhaps alluding to how he created concept art for Jodorowsky's attempt at an adaptation. The Harkonnen palace building’s outline resembles Vladimir himself, a design note in Giger’s concept.
    • The film's trailer prominently features Pink Floyd's "Eclipse", nodding back to Jodorowsky's plan to have them and Magma score his version of Dune (with Pink Floyd representing the House of Atreides and Magma representing the House of Harkonnen).
    • The Baron again undergoes bizarre baths, although this time he either takes massive saunas or submerges himself completely rather than placing himself under a thin shower. He also floats akin to the 1984 version and this is what saves him from the poison gas, which was copied by the 2000 miniseries, whereas he didn't actually float in the book (his anti-gravity suspensors carried most of his weight so that he could walk easily). He's also much less fat here than described in the novel, resembling again his slimmer portrayal from the 1984 version.
    • The Sardaukar are again hidden under full pressure suits (although not as voluminous as the 1984 version), whereas in the book they wore regular military uniforms and helmets.
    • Rabban and the Harkonnen soldiers are clad in dark, bulky armor, while the Atreides workers wear black uniforms with high collars and kepi-like caps, both of them imitating their homologues from 1984. #*Similarly, Rabban is again portrayed as a physically imposing brute, Thufir is again pictured as heavyset, weird-looking of face and wearing a nice coat, and Piter de Vries is again a lanky, cold aide in a long robe. Even the Baron's medical assistants are shown to have some odd, surgical-looking features, echoing the surgically-modified weirdos the 1984 Baron had in his entourage.
    • Giedi Prime being an industrial landscape with random machinery brings again to mind this film, where some of Giger's work for Jodorowsky was retained.
    • Much like the first movie and the miniseries, Guild Heighliners are once again immense cylinders with no obviously visible means of propulsion.
    • In the aftermath of Duke's Taking You with Me gambit in the Arrakeen palace banquet hall, the Harkonnen troops who enter the hall are sporting chemical warfare suits that look almost exactly like the Sardaukar combat uniforms in David Lynch's 1984 film adaption of Dune.
    • The stillsuits split the difference between the 2000 miniseries and the '84 film, notably with the addition of a mask and a cowl, which were absent from David Lynch's version. Though like the Lynch version, the stillsuits look more like multi-layered, adjustable, bulky garments that could serve a high-tech function like water reclamation.
  2. Paul Atreides is an amazing and interesting protagonist, who is an son of Duke Leto Atreides and Lady Jessica and begins experiencing vivid visions of the future in the form of dreams, including an attack on Arrakis, and a yet-to-come relationship with Chani Kynes. Haunted by visions of a mysterious girl and an inevitable future, he is called to leave his childhood homeworld behind for a new life on the most dangerous planet in the Known Universe, where he must confront his innermost fears if he is to realize his true destiny. When he killed Jemis, he decided to join the Fremen.
    • Timothée Chalamet was practically born to play the role of Paul Atreides. He was drawn to the novel's religious and environmental themes, but also Paul's internal struggle, as he contemplates if and how to fight and use his power, such as the Voice.
    • The way that he used the Voice doesn't make the movie rushed directly to the part and instead have time for developed environment.
    • His visions, while occasionally helpful and showing Paul's future love Chani, are just as often nightmarish. Special mention goes to his vision of the holy war that will be waged in his name—while nothing too explicitly violent is shown, the fact that it's enough to demolish Paul's otherwise-impenetrable composure and leave him panicked, shaking and crying is certainly unnerving.
  3. This film is a amazing love letter to the fans of Dune series. Even Hans Zimmer is the fan as well (see pointer #8).
  4. Some scenes have very tear-jerker and emotional moments.
    • When Paul and Jessica are safe in the Stilltent after escaping the Harkonnens, Paul is already reeling from the devastating loss of his house and his father when he gets a whiff of Spice inside, triggering a prophetic vision in which he becomes the figurehead of a holy war that costs the lives of billions. When Jessica tries to comfort him, Paul lashes out using the Voice, blaming her and the Bene Gesserit sisterhood for making him a tool for one of their labyrinthine conspiracies.
    • Leto's death. While in this version, Leto, using the poison gas tooth, actually manages to severely injure the Baron besides killing Piter, the scene in its entirety is nothing short of heartbreaking; the paralyzed and naked Leto is put in a chair opposite the Baron, who taunts him and falsely tells him that Paul and Jessica are dead. The fact that Leto dies right under the bull head, which is a reminder of the death of his own father, doesn't make it any better.
    • Paul tells his father that he's worried he's not good enough to be the future of House Atreides. Leto reassures him that regardless of whether Paul is able to step up as a leader, he will still be Leto's beloved son, and that's all that matters.
    • The interactions between Paul and Duncan, including one with a Bear Hug, implying Duncan was like a Cool Uncle to him. Which makes the loss of Duncan all the more tragic for poor Paul.
      • In general, the interactions between Paul and other members of House Atreides, like when arriving on Arrakis, Paul forfeits any etiquette to run to Thufir and hug him. You can see that beyond the ranks and grades, they are family to him first and foremost.
    • Leto never even hesitates to do everything in his power to save everyone on the spice harvester - explicitly stating he doesn't give a damn about the spice as long as he can save his men.
    • Paul paying his respects to the body of Jamis after killing him in a Duel to the Death even considering the disdain Jamis had for him and his mother, proving his respect towards the Fremen and cementing his worthiness to become one.
    • Paul meeting Chani for real comes out as this. For the entire story, he has seen her as some beautiful, almost ethereal creature, his soulmate for life. However, when they meet, she turns out to be just a Fremen like any other, practical and completely dismissive of him, and the only thing she has to say to our hero is wishing that he dies quickly so they may continue on their way. You can see the pain in Paul's eyes, when he thinks of all the things that he should tell her, and knows that she won't understand it... at least, not yet.
    • Duncan Idaho's sacrifice; he salutes his young Duke, who, realizing Duncan's plan, rushes to stop him, only to arrive too late, leaving Paul fruitlessly pounding on a door, knowing that he's about to lose yet another friend who was like a Cool Uncle to him. Duncan's Last Stand is an awesome moment, but his death is a devastating moment for both Paul and the audience.
    • You can pinpoint the exact moment Paul's childhood gets ripped away from him for good: when Duncan Idaho, his beloved surrogate uncle and mentor, kneels before him and addresses him as "my lord duke". In one fell swoop, he loses the old relationship he had with Duncan (because now he's Duncan's liege lord), and it finally becomes real that his father is gone and nothing will ever be the same, and that he has no choice but to grow up and be responsible right now, no matter that he's only fifteen.
    • The conclusion of Paul's duel with Jamis manages to be this on three levels. First is Paul's remorse for having killed a man, knowing there wasn't even a good reason for it. Second, because of Paul's visions in which Jamis was more of a mentor or a big brother figure for him, the tragedy gains an extra layer thanks to Paul knowing for a fact that he killed a potential lifelong friend. The third level is more meta: the framing of Paul's visions of Jamis as a friend juxtaposed against the hostile man who challenges Paul to a duel to the death comes across as a commentary on the tragedy of all violence that takes place between two strangers from two different ways of life, simply because they didn't stop to try understanding one another.
      • Following that, on a fourth level, Paul refusing to be smuggled offworld and choosing to live with the Fremen, because his father wanted to cultivate their power. This is Paul's first step on the road to what will become a galaxy-spanning holy war, and Paul knows this.
  5. Many of the planets, like Arrakis, also known as "Dune", are highly realistic and amazing.
  6. The scene where the Harkonnen army demolishing the House Atreides forces with the Sardaukar is really damn badass.
    1. The battle itself shows why the Harkonnens needed the Sardaukar's help, as the Atreides soldiers are shown to be more than capable of outmatching the Harkonnens in one-on-one combat, with small groups of Atreides household troops making mincemeat of larger groups of Harkonnens until outmatched in turn by the Imperial troops.
    2. When Harkonnen dropships begin disembarking troops on the airfield, the Atreides troops charge right at them, with the score changing to the Atreides' bagpipe-heavy theme. "WITH ME!!! WITH ME!!!"
    3. Also, the ship explosions are a sight to behold.
    4. To punctuate the final fall of House Atreides (for now, anyway), a Harokonen ship unleashes one of the most spectacular and brutal Macross Missile Massacres ever seen.
    5. Despite being caught off guard, Duncan's leap into combat is a sight to behold. He manages to take out multiple Sardaukar with ease, and without armor of his own.
  7. Many of the characters, apart from Paul, are loveable:
    1. Jessica Atreides goes through the help with Paul.
    2. Duke Leto Atreides is a Duke of House Atreides.
    3. Gurney Halleck is a Warmaster in service of Duke Leto of House Atreides, and he trains the Duke's son Paul.
    4. Thufir Hawat is a Mentat and Master of Assassins for Duke Leto of House Atreides, and he trains the Duke's son Paul.
    5. Chani Kynes is a member of the Fremen of Arrakis and she becomes close with Paul.
    6. Duncan Idaho is a swordmaster in service of Duke Leto of House Atreides, and he too trains Paul.
  8. Not only there are perfect and wonderful soundtrack provided by the legendary composer Hans Zimmer that sounds really like retro-style future-theme than modern-style. There are also that his passion for the books meant that he wrote no less than three soundtrack albums. In fact, one major reason he was brought on was because he is a big fan of the novel.
    • The first trailer concludes with an epic choral cover of "Eclipse" from Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.
    • Two tracks, "Paul's Dream" and "Ripples in the Sand", were released early, and offered a taste of the thunderous chanting and choral voices that would define the music for the movie.
    • From the sketchbook album (created as extended explorations of ideas for the final score), the House Atreides theme, with bagpipes and a booming orchestration, is a perfect fit for a regal ruling house, but with a melancholy undertone that hints at the Atreides' tragic fall. Meanwhile, "Song of the Sisters" uses massed female voices to signify the Bene Gesserit, shifting from eerie whispers to practically shouted chants, turning the distinctively human instrument of the voice into something alien.
    • The main score has plenty of great moments, such as the vocal motif of "Song of the Sisters" being developed into the shorter but ever-so-Creepy Awesome "Bene Gesserit", and the triumphant-but-mournful "Leaving Caladan", which builds as the Atreides prepare to venture to Arrakis.
    • "Arrakeen" uses a purposeful drum-roll motif which recalls the sound of ornithopter wings; the motif is also linked to the Harkonnens (playing over the scene introducing them), adding an undertone to danger as the heroes enter the city.
    • "Armada" blends multiple leitmotifs from the score; it opens with female voices that hint at the Bene Gesserit's manipulations that have led to the Harkonnens' attack, a theme song power up with the Atreides bagpipes as Gurney rallies his troops and charges into battle, and the unearthly growl of the Sardaukar throat-singing that accompanies their arrival to slaughter the Atreides forces.
    • "Blood for Blood" is pure musical tear jerker; playing over Leto's death, the choral voices that come in during the middle evoke a funeral chant, culminating in a chilling shriek.
    • The film ends with this track, reprising the motif from "Leaving Caladan" with the musical textures associated with Arrakis, signalling the next stage of Paul's journey away from home as he joins the Fremen.
    • It was so fresh and best that it was FINALLY won at Best Original Score at the Academy Award, for the first ever, since the 1994 Disney film The Lion King, after failed attempts to win the Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer.
  9. Many epic and intense scenes.
    • Paul's response to flying through a dust storm powerful enough to shred metal is an ingenious one: instead of fighting the storm, he allows the craft to be buffeted by the wind until it's carried to a higher dust-free zone, showing that he is beginning to adapt to the desert power of Arrakis.
    • After making their way into the desert, Jessica and Paul get surrounded by a group of Fremen warriors. Stilgar says that Paul is young enough to learn their ways, but Jessica is too old, so she has to die. Jessica whoops his ass and afterwards the only Fremen who dares to even say anything bad about her is Jamis, a man with very poor impulse control.
    • Paul's survival of the box very effectively foreshadows why he will later be considered a huge threat to the Imperium and the Bene Gesserit. While he does whimper and cry very early on in a subdued fashion, he never makes a full-throated scream (he did in the first trailer, but that didn't make it to the final cut). Instead he crosses some threshold beyond which the pain no longer even touches him. He aims a calm and intense Death Glare at Gaius Helen Mohiam for the entire rest of the trial while in the novel, he only thinks about the pain. Even Mohiam seems a bit unsettled by it. According to Denis Villeneuve, the moment when Paul turns his eyes up toward Mohiam is the first foreshadowing of Paul's true nature as the Kwisatz Haderach. He doesn't just power through the extreme pain — the experience brings something in his subconscious closer to the surface. And considering what Paul ends up bringing to the known universe canonically, Mohiam is right to be afraid.
    • In the Harkonnen throne room, there's an eight-legged black ... thing which looks like it escaped from one of H. R. Giger's nightmares, which seems to be kept as a pet by the Baron or Piter. The Harkonnen servants—who are all bald and eerily thin, with white skin, no fingernails and solid black eyes — also look distinctly alien. Some wear strange gags over their mouths, and react twitchily and deferentially to the Harkonnens' actions, implying a history of brutal treatment from their superiors.
      • Speaking of the "thing" above, it is possible that the creature is not an alien, but a mutated human. It has no features (eyes, mouth, nose, etc) but an oddly human-shaped head, and at the end of each limb is a humanoid hand. Considering how depraved the Harkonnen family is, it’s not too far-fetched to assume that their “pet” is either: A) A genetically manipulated human clone, or B) A human who was turned into that thing (especially considering it understands human speech enough to be affected by Gaius Helen Mohiam's Compelling Voice).
      • In a later scene, Dr. Yueh says that the Harkonnen "took [his wife] apart like a doll". This might be what it looked like when they put her back together again.
    • The depiction of Giedi Prime itself goes beyond stark and straight into terrifying. A completely industrialized world, every scrap of green and life has been chewed up and replaced by stone, concrete, and metal. Smoke and smog hangs over everything and while the palace of Caladan looks regal and stately, the gigantic ziggurats of the Harkonnen look like looming mausoleums.
    • We get a shot of a Harkonnen agent who was bricked up into a wall, just so that he could release a hunter-seeker drone in an attempt to kill Paul. Claustrophobia (a character states that the agent was cemented into the wall for six weeks) and the Paranoia Fuel of a hidden attacker anywhere within a building, all in one package.
      • For that matter, the hunter-seeker itself. It looks less like a drone and more like a gigantic mosquito, even more so when it flies right up to Paul's eye, and then it darts extremely quickly straight at Shadout Mapes when she tries to enter the room unaware of its presence. Fortunately, this gives Paul the opening he needs to crush it.
  10. It is so good that after decades in relative obscurity outside science-fiction enthusiasts, the Dune franchise is drawing in new fans at a rapid pace, considering how fans might know about Denis Villeneuve.
  11. The Ornithopter is an awesome vehicle. Imagine a literal combination of a dragonfly and a helicopter - instead of having rotary blades, the four wings beat at an ultra-fast rate, providing lift and thrust.
  12. Funny moments throughout the movie.
    • The film is quite upfront about how Timothée Chalamet isn't exactly the most physically intimidating action hero around (the best part of the scene is that Paul actually looks at his own arm, slightly confused, as if expecting to see some new muscle there).
    • Also, there's a chuckle-worthy lampshade of early on.
    • When receiving The Emperor's emissary, Duke Leto Atreides urges Gurney Halleck to smile. Gurney insists through a typical Josh Brolin scowl that he is smiling, despite his face not doing much to show that.
    • Also, Leto doesn't look at Gurney to notice that he's not smiling. He just assumes, based on experience, that Gurney is scowling behind him.
    • Once Leto stamps the Emperor's decree with his signet ring, indicating his acceptance of it. There is a long pause before he somewhat uncomfortably asks the emissary if that's it.
    • Jessica is training Paul in the Voice, thus begins a running gag of her telling him his pitch is off every time he attempts it. When he finally uses it successfully against a Harkonnen soldier, Jessica tells him his pitch still isn't where it needs to be.
    • Paul's line from the book about how he'd rather hear a song from Gurney than combat training is kept in, despite the film's version of Gurney being a far more serious and stern soldier. The mental image of him still having book Gurney's musical habits is amazing.
      • Adding to that is Gurney's response, where he flings a knife at Paul, embedding it in the table right next to him. Rather than call him out for throwing a knife so close to him, Paul simply says "That's rude!" as a retort.
    • During the battle in the palace grounds, Duncan makes his way to the airfield and kills several Harkonnen troops guarding an Ornithopter. The remaining Harkonnens raise their hands and get out of his way so he can take off in the ship and use it to lay waste to the other Harkonnen forces on the flightline.
    • In a bit of actor allusion, Leto confides to Paul that before becoming Duke, his real dream was to become a pilot.
    • When Stilgar is welcomed by Duke Leto Atreides as ambassador of the Fremen, he spits in front of Leto, who reacts as if this was an offense (not helped by how gruff Stilgar seems to be). Duncan, who lived among the Fremen for some time beforehand, is quick to explain him that he actually sacrificed humidity from his body (water is the most precious thing on Arrakis besides Spice) as a salute and sign of trust, then everyone does the same.
    • Stilgar either doesn't understand court customs, or more likely expressly doesn't care. Upon being allowed into Leto's council chamber, he ignores Gurney's repeated order to advance no further, marching straight up to stand a few feet away from the Duke. His lack of concern for the mortal peril he seems to have put himself in by the misunderstanding makes Duncan's urgent interjections to defuse the tension that much funnier.
    • Leto looks very uncomfortable flinging a loogie onto his own desk.
    • After all this, Stilgar glances at Paul and says "I recognize you." Then walks away. That's his reaction to meeting his Messiah.
    • Chani does not seem overly impressed when she first meets Paul. After he disarms one Fremen warrior and fights his way past several others to seize the high ground and threaten them with a gun, he only discovers that she's already up there after Stilgar orders his men to stand down, having parked herself right behind him with a knife at the ready. Also, he evidently found the most difficult way to climb up the rock, and she offers to show him an easier way down.
    • When Paul has to duel Jamis, Chani offers him her knife, a family heirloom. She notes that it will be a great honor for Paul when he dies while holding it.
    • She also tells him that Jamis is a great warrior, he will make sure Paul doesn't suffer much.
    • All this build up of Jamis’s skill as a fighter means it can be darkly humorous to see Paul thoroughly outclassing him: attempting multiple times to get Jamis to yield, while barely suffering a scratch in return. Stilgar has to verify with Jessica that Paul is not in fact toying with Jamis in a traditional duel to the death.
  13. The acting is excellent, especially the all-star cast. Timothée Chalamet is fantastic as Paul, Rebecca Ferguson and Oscar Isaac are great as Lady Jessica and Duke Leto Atreides, Zendaya is amazing as Chani, while Jason Momoa is really entertaining as Duncan Idaho.
    • For Zendaya, her performance is well improvement over Lola Bunny from Space Jam: A New Legacy, although she does a decent voice performance.
  14. The visual effects are absolutely well done and creative, especially the sandworms. In one of the subtlest occurrences of this, this film finally gets the Eyes of Ibad right, after the David Lynch version had to use a post-production effect that made the eyes appear to glow blue, the first installment of the miniseries embraced the glowing blue (so the glow was drowned out in direct light), and the second installment of the miniseries just use blue iris contact lenses. Here, the eyes do look just fully and entirely blue.
  15. Amazing and excellent villains.
    • The Sardaukar were already a Badass Army in the novel, but the film reimagines them as a psychotically devoted proud warrior race who speak in black speech and practice human sacrifice rituals accompanied by Mongolian-style throat singing. From their introductory scene they immediately come off as more badass and intimidating than the Harkonnens. They're portrayed like a cult of Blood Knights who practice Human Sacrifice (with a shot of the many people who get sacrificed) to mark their foreheads with blood before going to battle. They also have a Black Speech as language, which is made creepier due to the actors actually speaking the lines given in English (read their lips) while being overdubbed, creating an almost uncanny valley effect.
      • The Sardaukar muezzin's chant is not subtitled, but only hearing it sends a chill down the spine. Not only due to the distorted, gastric overtones, or just the question or what might he be saying, but also to the sheer creepiness of the entire ceremony. The only hint the audience is given is that the opening words of the murzzin's chant are the thunderous and guttural first words of the film: "Dreams are messages from the deep."
      • The overdubbing of the Sardaukar might be intentional — Villeneuve wants the Sardaukar to be unnerving and uncanny as in the book they are described as such - but Herbert never explains why. Here Villeneuve gives a good representation that makes the audience feel unnerved by the Sardaukar. Their Black Speech includes when they signal to each other in the cistern, sounding like insects more than humans.
      • During the assault on Arrakeen, while the Harkonnen and Atreides forces shout battlecries and yell during the fighting, the Sardaukar have the unsettling habit of silently and slowly descending from unseen perches to sneak up on their prey.
      • Also, in Lynch's adaptation and in the 2000 miniseries, they were barely acknowledged and for the most part looked goofy (wearing black hazmat suits in 1984, then black armor offset by large puffy hats in 2000) disappointing many readers. In this adaptation however, they are reimagined as a warrior cult who make human sacrifices, look like Vikings when unmasked, talk in Black Speech, and wear white bodysuits which make them like Stormtroopers on steroids. Their introduction scene in Salusa Secundus with throat-singing and their weird rituals cemented them as fan-favorites and made them popular in the old and new fanbase, especially the Sardaukar muezzin, who has received a lot of memes and fan art for a character who is literally in the movie for less than 30 seconds.
    • The Bene Gesserit are more morally ambiguous than outright evil, but they have a wonderfully intimidating aesthetic, with most of their representatives being covered head to toe in flowing black robes and Reverend Mother Mohiam herself coming across as almost a Wicked Witch with how she's able to push Paul around with the Voice.
    • Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård's character), despite his less screen-time, is an interesting and useful antagonist, being established the head of House Harkonnen and the nemesis of House Atreides, who want to take over them, thanks to his genuinely unsettling appearance, as well as Stellan Skarsgård's performance perfectly portraying the ruthless and cunning schemer that he was in the novel. Skarsgård also achieved the not small feat of making fans accept a stark adaptation personality change, as his portrayal of the Baron gives the character a gravitas and dignity than his novel version lacked.
  16. The ending scene has interesting tease for Part Two where Paul and his mother, Jessica, joins the Fremen, after the former defeats Jemis in the Duel of Death.
  17. As the first half of the book, we get to know about the world building and characters, since it was mainly focus instead of action scenes.
  18. The film begins with a phrase in an alien language is heard as a caption with the English translation on a black background, "Dreams are messages from the deep.", before it starts with the opening Warner Bros. Pictures logo.
    • And later at the end of the logo, the background fades to black, similar to the 2020 logo, then the shield and byline follow suit a second later.
  19. There are tons of memorable and excellent dialogues, such as:
    • "I will not harm them. But Arrakis is Arrakis and the desert takes the weak. My desert. My Arrakis. My Dune."
    • "It's coming. I see a holy war spreading across the universe like unquenchable fire. A warrior religion that waves the Atreides banner in my father’s name. Fanatical legions worshipping at the shrine of my father’s skull. A WAR IN MY NAME!!! Everyone shouting my name!"
    • "Uncle, how could you let this happen? How can the Emperor...TAKE EVERYTHING WE BUILT AND GIVE IT TO THAT DUKE?! HOW?!"
    • "GET OFF ME!!! YOU DID THIS TO ME!! YOU BENE GESSERIT MADE ME A FREAK!!!"
    • "God in heaven."
    • "Get everything with guns off the ground! Go!"
    • "This is only the beginning."
  20. The world-building and epic scope are what impress everyone most here; not only the flawless visual effects, otherworldly lore and impeccable production design, but the attention to detail in the smaller aspects of this imagining of the future.
  21. Denis Villeneuve gives incredible direction choice.
    • Since it was even better, the movie made over double its budget ($399.4 million compared to its $165 million budget), and it is the most successful movie in Denis Villeneuve's filmography.
  22. The action scenes, although less, are still perfect, much like most of Denis Villeneuve's movies, which puts into great used, like Paul and Gurney fights in training and Duncan Idaho is fighting the bad guys.
  23. The cinematography is excellent, like the rest of Denis Villeneuve's movies, most namingly Interstellar.
    • Some who enjoy the prerelease title card have praised it for spelling out "DUNE" with one character in different positions. The movie overall is just beautiful looking, with fantastic cinematography managing to bring the alien setting of Dune to life.
  24. Honest speaking, alongside Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune is one of the movie that it resolved the legal lawsuit for having both box office success and streaming hit, making the audiences and fans happily succeed, after Legendary Pictures tried to sue Warner Bros. Pictures for having the theatrical and HBO Max release during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  25. The makers of the film spent over a year perfecting the design of the Sand Worms to make sure they looked as intimidating and prehistoric as possible. They succeeded. For one, they have large baleen-like structures in their mouths which make it resemble a giant staring eye.
    • There's also a realistic consequence to the movement of such a large, powerful subterranean creature witnessed in the attack on the spice harvester. Sandworms are so massive that as they approach the surface of the desert, they cause soil liquefaction. Trying to run from a giant underground monster is bad enough, now try doing it when the sand you're standing on starts behaving like water.
    • After seeing the Sardaukar easily slaughter Atreides soldiers, find themselves narrowly outmatched by the Fremen, and barely defeat Duncan Idaho in a 20-to-1 fight, the remaining Imperial troops are consumed offhandedly by Shai-Hulud almost before they realize they're in danger. Their only warning is when the vibrations of the worm's approach causes their legs to sink into the sand. Arrakis is such an outrageously ruthless Death World that even the Emperor's elite troops are helpless beyond the walls of the cities.

Bad Qualities

  1. While it's still fantastic, some can view this as 2 and a half hours of buildup to the sequel.
  2. False Advertising: Chani only appears for the 10 minutes in the movie, despite the advertising for trailers and posters made it look like he had a bigger role in the movie.
  3. The pacing can slow down throughout the movie, but at least its pacing isn't as slow as the pacing in its rival movie, Eternals.

Reception

Pre-release

When the teaser trailer was released by Warner Bros. and Legendary on September 10, 2020, it was highly prised by audiences and fan of the book alike for its the remix of Eclipse (Pink Floyd song). The song was later released on October 10, 2020.

On July 22, 2021, Warner Bros. and Legendary released a second trailer, which received critical acclaim by audiences and fans of the book alike as well, with praise for focusing on Zendaya's character.

Many feared that various factors would potentially leave Denis Villeneuve's planned two-part adaptation of the original story doomed to be only half-finished, given the fact that Dune is a slow-paced, complicated narrative, the Acclaimed Flop status of his previous sci-fi blockbuster Blade Runner 2049, and the day-and-date streaming status provided by HBO Max (which opened the movie up to piracy due to HD copies of the film being easier to distribute) due to the issues with the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic (which was still depressing box office turnout around the world). The fact that the US release date was boxed in the middle of other expected blockbusters like Venom: Let There Be Carnage, No Time to Die and Eternals also led to concerns about the movie being crowded out of the spotlight (a fate which befell The Last Duel just a week before Dune).

Critical reception

Dune has received critical acclaim from most critics, audiences and fans of the book alike, who are calling it one of the best sci-fi movies in years and blockbuster cinema at its dizzying, dazzling best. Many reviewers praised the film for its visuals, scope, Zimmer's musical score, cinematography and overall execution under Villeneuve’s direction, while other critics commented on issues related to the film's pacing and handling of the source material. Organizations like the National Board of Review and the American film institute named Dune as one of the top 10 films of 2021. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 83% approval rating based on 452 reviews, with an average rating of 7.60/10. The verified audiences score was 92% based on 1,000+ ratings. The website's critics consensus reads: "Dune occasionally struggles with its unwieldy source material, but those issues are largely overshadowed by the scope and ambition of this visually thrilling adaptation.", while the Audience Says section reads, "Denis Villeneuve's Dune looks and sounds amazing -- and once the (admittedly slow-building) story gets you hooked, you'll be on the edge of your seat for the sequel.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 75 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The average user score is much higher, with a score of 8.0/10 from over 300 ratings, indicating "universal acclaim". According to IMDb and Letterboxd, the film collected score of 8.2/10 and 4.1/5 ratings.

Jeremy Jahns says ⊃∪∩⪽ is awesome tacular.

Box office

As of December 27, 2021, Dune has grossed $107 million in the United States and Canada, and $287.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $394.6 million. Deadline Hollywood reported that a total box office gross of $300 million "will make many happy from an image-standpoint, even if breakeven is far north of that."

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Ron's Gone Wrong, and is projected to gross $30–35 million from 4,100 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $17.5 million on its first day, including $5.1 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $40.1 million, the best opening for a 2021 Warner Bros. title and Villeneuve's career.

The film was released in 14 markets outside the United States on September 17, 2021. It grossed $37.9 million, with the largest markets being Russia ($8.9 million), France ($7.2 million), Germany ($4.4 million), Italy ($2.5 million) and Spain ($2.4 million). After adding an additional $26.3 million from 32 countries in its second weekend, the film had a 10-day running total of $76.5 million.

Audience viewership

The film was streamed by an estimated 1.9 million households on HBO Max in the United States during its debut weekend, according to Samba TV. According to TV Time, it was the most-watched film overall in the United States from the first to the third week of its release consecutively, before dropping to the sixth rank in its fourth week. The film rose to the third rank on TV Time's chart in the final week of its availability.

After its release on PVOD services, Dune debuted at the second position on iTunes and Vudu charts, while being ranked seventh on Google Play. The following week it fell to the seventh position on iTunes and the third position on Vudu, while maintaining its ranking on Google Play.

Awards and nominations

At the 79th Golden Globe Awards, Dune received three nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director for Denis Villeneuve, and won for Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer. At the 94th Academy Awards, Dune received ten nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing for Joe Walker, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Cinematography for Greig Fraser, Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects.

Dune: Part Two and legacy

Although the sequel has not yet been officially green-lit by Legendary, Villeneuve has stated that the 2021 film will roughly cover the first half of the novel, with a follow-up covering the remaining half. He explained, "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." In November 2019, Jon Spaihts left his position as showrunner of the Dune: The Sisterhood prequel TV series to focus more on writing the sequel film. In June 2020, cinematographer Greig Fraser said, "It's a fully formed story in itself with places to go. It's a fully standalone epic film that people will get a lot out of when they see it". However, in December 2020, Villeneuve stated that due to Warner Bros.' plan to release the film in theaters and on HBO Max in the same time, the movie could underperform financially, which could lead to cancellation of the planned sequel. In February 2021, Eric Roth stated that he has written a full treatment for the potential sequel. In an IMAX screening of the film's first ten minutes, the title read as Dune: Part One, lending credence to plans for further parts. In August 2021, Villeneuve was optimistic about the sequel happening. He confirmed Chani will be the protagonist in the sequel. That same month, Villeneuve also confirmed writing on the sequel began. Later, he expects Dune: Part Two to begin filming sometime around fall 2022. Villeneuve confirmed at the Venice Film Festival before the film's debut that he is still planning the two films based on the first novel and a third film based on Dune Messiah. On October 26, 2021, following the strong box office success, Dune: Part Two was officially announced with a release date of October 20, 2023 (now November 17, 2023) by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures. A spokesperson for Legendary said on the announcement "We would not have gotten to this point without the extraordinary vision of Denis and the amazing work of his talented crew, the writers, our stellar cast, our partners at Warner Bros., and of course the fans! Here’s to more Dune." According to Deadline Hollywood, a key issue around greenlighting the second film was assurance that it would not be part of Warner Bros. day-and-date streaming plans.

With Dune: Part Two greenlit, Villeneuve said that his primary concern was to complete the filming as soon as possible, however, he did say the production of the second film benefited from all the work already established on the first and can help expedite production. Producer Mary Parent stated that filming is scheduled to start on July 18, 2022. Hans Zimmer will return to compose the score for the film, and near the time the second part was greenlit, he had already completed an hour and a half of new music to help inspire Villeneuve in preparing the film.

In March 2022, Florence Pugh initially entered negotiations to join the film's cast as Princess Irulan, while Austin Butler entered negotiations to join the cast as Feyd-Rautha. This was alongside casting calls for the role of Emperor Shaddam IV. It was announced that the role of Emperor Shaddam IV was given to Christopher Walken. Butler was officially confirmed to join the cast.

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Trivia

  • This is currently the third large page and also the first largest page for any movie on this wiki.
  • This is only the first time n the Dune content where the main antagonist Baron Vladimir Harkonnen isn't killed.
    • However, since this is Part One, he is most likely killed in Part Two.
  • On Letterboxd, following the release of this film, the "Watched" icon is changed green into blue to make it subtle easter egg for any Dune-related.
  • There are actors who voiced the other animated characters from the animation movies before portraying in the this movie:
  • At the end of his appearance on Saturday Night Live that same month, Chalamet wore a hoodie with the Legendary Pictures logo on it, which was interpreted in the media as support for Legendary and disapproval of the streaming deal for HBO Max.
  • Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya and David Dastmalchian were portrayed the characters from Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • It spawned several internet memes.
    • The official trailer with "Sandstorm" by Darude song.
    • I must not hype. Hype is the fun-killer, etc. (after the first trailer and preview images got the fanbase as well as newcomers incredibly excited, the book's litany against fear was also jokingly riffed on by those who counseled against hype burnout, especially with the delays.)
    • "Sequel Fear Is The Mind-Killer" (Denis Villeneuve's films have never exactly been box-office smashes despite their critical and audience receptions, and in the case of Blade Runner 2049, outright tanked. It stoked fears in fans that the movie simply won't bank enough to warrant a sequel, thus playing on the quote "Fear is the mind-killer.")
    • Russian Internet seems to enjoy cracking jokes about the band of the same name, who used to be popular in the nineties (and, for what it's worth, got inspiration for the name from Frank Herbert's book). One of the more popular jokes goes like this: "Are you coming to see Dune (Duna)?" — "Are they still performing?".
    • When it was announced the film would be released in Spain almost a month before the rest of the world (sans France), and due to the recent case of Antonio Banderas being famously called a person of colour, Spanish Dune fans speculated, half-jokingly half-seriously, that Warner Bros. was under the impression that Al-Ándalus still exists and Spain is a Muslim country, making the early date a sort of cultural gesture due to the book's Arabic influences. (this confusion would be utterly ridiculous if true, but isn't actually as unbelievable as it sounds - according to Spanish war journalists, there are people in modern day Afghanistan and nearby countries who really believe Spain is still Muslim.)
    • The Sardaukar muezzin especially has received a lot of memes and fan art for a character who is literally in the movie for less than 30 seconds.
    • The poster spawned memes as well, notably with Shrek and the main characters (except Gurney) with facial expressions smile.
  • Paul Atreides and Chani Kynes were added the skins as Fortnite to promote this movie.
  • More than two thousand visual effect shots were created for the film. These shots used a chroma key process that visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert called "sandscreen"; instead of using green-based backgrounds, the visual effects team used brown-colored ones that matched the establishing desert shots intended for backgrounds. The resulting shots appear more natural than with other chroma keys. The sandworms were created through computer-generated imagery, with an original design considered "prehistoric" by Lambert, inspired by whales with a mouth filled with baleen and following the underwater movements of whales. While they had considered using rigged explosives to capture the motion of the sandworms breaking the surface in the desert, this would have been impractical in the Middle East, and instead used Houdini software to have sand mimic the motion of water. Villeneuve did not want the sound associated with these special effects to sound as a studio production, and sound designers Mark Mangini and Theo Green used a "fake documentary realism" approach to capture natural sounds and manipulate them for use in the film, such as recording the sounds of shifting sands in Death Valley using hydrophones.
  • Shortly after publication in 1965, Dune was identified for potential film prospects and the rights to adapt the novel to film have been held by several producers since 1971. Attempts to make a film were made and it was considered to be "unfilmable" owing to its breadth of content. Because of the book's status among fans, any deviation from the original material without strong justification has the potential to harm the film's reputation.
  • Prospects to make a successful adaptation of Dune improved after the critical and commercial success of the film series adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, both of which maintained most of the works' key characters and plots while managing the limited running time. In 2008, Paramount Pictures had originally going to be distributed for Dune, but was dropped out on March 2011, allowed the rights to revert back to producer Richard P. Rubinstein. In November 2016, the rights of the film and TV are eventually picked up by Legendary Pictures.
  • Composer Hans Zimmer is a big fan of the novel Dune, and turned down working with frequent collaborator Christopher Nolan on Tenet for Ludwig Göransson to score this film.
  • Denis Villeneuve confirmed in a Vanity Fair article that his adaptation of Dune (2021) will be split into two films in order to ensure that the original story would be "preserved and not cut into a million pieces.", similar to Andy Muschietti's IT.
  • The first full trailer for the film features a version of Pink Floyd's "Eclipse" by composer Hans Zimmer. This is a nod to director Alejandro Jodorowsky's proposed adaptation of Dune in the 1970s, for which he wanted the band to write the score.
  • Denis Villeneuve previously directed Blade Runner 2049 (2017) for producer Ridley Scott. Scott was at one point planning to direct an adaptation of Dune. His own film Alien (1979) was written by Dan O'Bannon and designed by H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Jean 'Moebius' Giraud and Ron Cobb - all of whom had met each other while working on Alejandro Jodorowsky's failed Dune adaptation in 1970s, and brought much of their design works from that project to Alien.


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