Fear Is the Mind Killer in Official Trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune
Alright. Let’s taste the spice melange.
Not gonna lie, I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m Dune trash or my expectations for the trailer were that low, but everything about this trailer caught my attention and injected the purest spice melange into my veins, which … is actually dangerous, so let me just back up a little.
For those who have no idea what Dune is, here is a spoiler-free breakdown. Dune takes place in the very far off future in a universe run by a feudal intergalactic empire. The head of this empire is the Imperial House Corrino, but several other noble houses have pledged their allegiance to Corrino. One of those houses is House Atreides. House Atreides is currently headed by Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), with his son and heir being our protagonist, Paul (Timothée Chalamet). Duke’s concubine is the Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), a member of the Bene Gesserit, a witch-like order that is pulling so many strings it’ll make your brain explode.
Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV begins to fear the popularity and might of House Atreides, so in true Greek mythology fashion, he chooses to play on the long rivalry between Atreides and House Harkonnen to attempt to eliminate the family. He gives Leto the desert planet Arrakis, which produces the important resource spice melange, that used to belong to Harkonnen and allows the chips to fall where they may. There are prophecies, chosen ones, evil children, and a whole bunch of political conversations that make Dune both dense and fascinating.
The trailer, while too dark at times, does give you a good overview of the characters without saying too much. Dune is in the unique place of being both really popular and also very niche in that popularity. I think Chalamet looks good as Paul, if only because he is able to look like a floppy-haired white Jesus, and honestly, that reads as Paul to me. The action scenes look like they’ve managed to really adapt the futuristic elements in a way that looks more seamless than the ’80s version.
For me, as a fan of this series, I do want it to do well, but mostly so that we can get an adaptation of Dune Messiah. While I enjoy the first book, it serves many purposes in the series, being the foundation of the world we are living in and setting up the story of this great hero, Paul. But in the sequel, we get to really explore the reasons why author Frank Herbert actually wrote Dune, to show the dangers of following one messiah figure. Hopefully, Villeneuve will bring some of those aspects into the film early on.
I do wonder, for those who have never read Dune and have no idea what it is about: Does the trailer suck you in or does it just seem like more of the same?
(image: Warner Bros.)
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