The trailer for one of the most anticipated releases of the upcoming holiday season, Dune, dropped yesterday to much fanfare. Director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the eponymous 1965 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert is as mysterious as ever, even after endless playbacks of the three-minute preview—a fact that doesn't surprise us. Hollywood has, in fact, mostly unsuccessfully attempted to take on the literary work since the 1970s. Throughout the years, the likes of Arthur P Jacobs, Orson Welles, Ridley Scott, David Lynch and Patrick Stewart have, in one way or another, been attached to potential treatments—projects that fell flat in large part given the magnitude of the original work and the intricate plot lines involved.
Here, we dissect the trailer and present you with everything we currently know about the film.
1. We're Not Entirely Sure What is Going on—But We're Into it
Famously complex, Dune’s interweaving plotlines remain fairly mind-scrambling, even after this glorious-looking trailer. That being said, here's a bit of a description of what's going on: The story takes place about 20,000 years into the future, so expect space travel and otherworldly mental cognition to take center stage when it comes to human behavior. One Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV rules over the feudal government and decides to shake things up politically by forcing the House of Atreides to move on a different planet in an effort to get rid of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) before the latter gets to take over the throne. Atreides' son, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) is the actual protagonist, so expect to fly around the galaxy along with him.
2. The Cast is On Point
Chamalet shines regally in the trailer, reminding viewers of his intimate, deep and critically acclaimed role in Netflix's The King. His acting chops are complemented by a stellar cast that will likely be acknowledged throughout awards season. Expect Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård and Javier Bardem to delight and bring the story to life.
3. That's a Pink Floyd Song in the Trailer—and it's Not a Coincidence
In the background of the video, you'll notice a pretty apocalyptic rendition of the Pink Floyd song Eclipse. Arranged by the famous Hans Zimmer, the track is actually intricately connected to the film as a whole. Back in the 1970s, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky tried to use the band's music when adapting the novel. Although he was unsuccessful at doing so, the feat was chronicled in the 2013 documentary Jorodowsky's Dune.
4. There Are Actually Two Parts to the Film
We already knew this, but Villeneuve has actually planned on splitting the film into two parts and, given the enormity of the original work, we're pleased to hear that's still the case, although details regarding the second project have yet to be released. But there's more: an HBO Max spinoff TV series called Dune: Sisterhood will also be partly directed by Villeneuve. Talk about an epic franchise.
5. For Now, the Film is Still Scheduled to Drop in December
Fans can still expect to catch the flick in theaters on December 18, 2020, unless the new world order forces the production company to change plans. Hollywood is closely monitoring the box-office takings of Christopher Nolan's Tenet to figure out future releases strategies – and Dune, of course, comes from Tenet’s studio Warner Bros., so their intel will be better than anyone’s. Fingers crossed Dune will be a Christmas movie.