Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like Denis Villeneuve is criminally under-discussed and appreciated. He’s given us flawless films, one after another (Prisoners, Enemy, Blade Runner 2049) in such a short span of time, and this train ain’t stopping’ yet. Why is that? Maybe his name is just too difficult to pronounce? I certainly make a fool of myself every time. But I’ll keep doing it. Know why? He’s making Dune.
And that’s the good word, with his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s genre-defining classic novel set now for a November 20th, 2020 release date. The film is set to release in 3D and IMAX, the latter of which I’ll be rabidly camping out for. Though there is no hard confirmation, there was word on the film being split into two separate films, a la Kill Bill. That is to say, one film in two parts, and not a sequel.
For the somehow-unacquainted, Herbert’s epic novel tells the story of Paul Atreides, son of a galactic governor appointed to the brutal desert world of Arrakis. The harsh landscape (read: sand worms to fill a football stadium) and political machinations of the ruling galactic empire and scheming Harkonnen clan throw all sorts of wrenches in the lives of House Atreides.
Villeneuve has assembled an almost comically-great cast, including Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, with Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, and every other great actor involved in some capacity. Jason Momoa is the latest to join the all-star cast. Hopefully his Aquaman method acting won’t affect the desert shoot.
Dune has seen its fair share of adaptations, with David Lynch’s 1984 film starring Kyle MacLachlan arriving as something of a failure, and a Syfy channel miniseries in 2000. Surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky famously tried for his own film adaptation, which never got made but produced a pretty great documentary showing what could have been. It’s unrelated to the upcoming adaptation, and likely a far cry from what we’ll see in 2020, but I’m always one to recommend it. If not just for Nicolas Winding Refn’s great lines.