Production is now firmly underway on Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious adaptation of the iconic sci-fi novel Dune. The film hails from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment and is based on the Frank Herbert novel of the same name, with Timothée Chalamet filling the lead role of Paul Atreides, a young man born into destiny who must travel the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. Villeneuve co-wrote the screenplay for this one himself alongside Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Jon Spaihts (Passengers).
The official synopsis for the new Dune movie is as follows:
A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Villeneuve has assembled one of the most star-studded casts in recent memory for Dune, with Chalamet joined by Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Stephen Henderson, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem with Chang Chen (The Grandmaster) in talks to join the cast.
Villeneuve has previously said that this is the first half of a two-part adaptation of Dune, but thus far Warner Bros. hasn’t mentioned a greenlight for a second film. The press release also reveals that Hans Zimmer will be composing the score, reuniting with Villeneuve after he co-composed the terrific score for Blade Runner 2049 with Benjamin Wallfisch.
Behind the scenes, Villeneuve continues his steak of working with brilliant cinematographers by enlisting Greig Fraser (Rogue One, Vice) to lens this one, while Jacqueline West (The Revenant) is designing the costumes alongside Bob Morgan and Villeneuve is once again working with production designer Patrice Vermette (Sicario) and editor Joe Walker (Arrival). Also of note: author Kevin J. Anderson, who co-wrote the Dune prequel books, is credited as a creative consultant.
Filming is taking place in Budapest, Hungary, and Jordan ahead of a November 20, 2020 release date for this incredibly ambitious and highly anticipated film. Villeneuve is on one hell of a roll in my book between Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049, and I can’t wait to see what he does with this particular material.