Director Denis Villeneuve’s increasingly anticipated adaptation of Frank Hebert’s sci-fi epic, “Dune“—the film that will seemingly feature every single A-list actor on Earth –will arrive in theaters on November 22, 2020, via Warner Bros.
The upcoming film from Legendary Entertainment finds the Academy Award-nominated director (“Arrival”) returning to the high concept genre for his third project in a row. The series of novels is set on the fictional planet of Arrakis, which harvests a rare spice sought throughout the galaxy. Villeneuve has insisted in the past that “Dune” would be two parts, but given Warner Bros. didn’t reveal a second date, that seems unlikely. What seems more possible is a franchise launched and a series of films.
Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) leads the picture, alongside a plethora of acclaimed actors; Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”), Dave Bautista (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Josh Brolin (“Sicario”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission Impossible: Fallout”), Oscar Isaac (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), Charlotte Rampling (“Never Let Me Go”), Stellan Skarsgard (“Thor”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”) and – most recently added to this unreal list – Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”). Have you started a pool with your friends over who’s going to be announced next yet? Have you auditioned? Because you never know.
The film is scheduled to start shooting in various locations, such as Jordan and Budapest, this spring. Eric Roth (“The Insider”)and Jon Spaihts (“Prometheus”)wrote the screenplay, and Villeneuve’s recent regular DP collaborator, the legendary Roger Deakins (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”) has stepped aside this time around. Tremendously talented Australian cinematographer, Greig Fraser (“Foxcatcher,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) will step in for the lensing.
“Dune” originally came to the screen in 1984 by David Lynch, but it was a troubled production, much fighting with producer Raffaella De Laurentiis, and is largely regarded as his least successful film, commercially and artistically.
“Dune” will play in 3D and Imax and opens the month after the one in which Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner” sequel, ‘2049,’ underperformed in 2017. It allegedly lost somewhere around 80 million dollars, but “Dune” feels not unlike all those ambitious James Cameron projects that concerned producers all those years ago; it doesn’t seem smart to bet against it. If talent like this can’t draw in an audience, maybe Netflix is on its way to conquering the known universe after all.
Certain curmudgeons might be getting sick of seeing the word “Dune” in headlines – heck, probably just their timelines, at this point—but most movie lovers surely don’t count themselves among them. The French-Canadian filmmaker will officially unveil his third science fiction film – we shall see if one can argue it forms a sort of auteur trilogy – in the fall of 2020, and it’s shaping up to be an unmissable cinematic event for the ages.