There’s a lot of hype over the Dune movie coming out this December. It’s directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) with a screenplay by Jon Spaihts (Passengers, Prometheus, Doctor Strange) and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Benjamin Button, A Star is Born). I’m including the writers because of course everything will hinge on the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 epic novel, one of the bestselling science fiction books of all time.
So far we’ve had just one Dune movie and a couple miniseries. The 1984 film, directed by David Lynch and starring Kyle MacLachlan, is god awful. I can say this because I watched it less than a month ago and Lynch calls it the only movie he’s not proud of. It was plodding and tough for me to understand, I’m not going to lie. My son is on the third book and he explained everything but I still didn’t get it! (Sidenote: if you need a Dune explainer, watch this 5 minute video.)
I asked my 15-year-old son to watch this trailer with me and give his thoughts. This is starring Timothee Chalamet (Paul Atreides), Zendaya (Chani), Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho), Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Oscar Isaac (Duke Leto Atreides) and a bunch of other heavyweight actors. I know I’ll be seeing this, depending on the state of the world, and it looks better than I was expecting! I see a few scenes that look better than they did in the first movie although that bar is really low. Here are my son’s thoughts as we watched this:
– Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya are too old to play 15 and 16-year-old characters. (Zendaya’s character is supposed to be 12 but they changed it.)
– The ships look cool
– Me: Oscar Isaac is really hot
– Stellan Skarsgard looks badass as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
– The Sardaukar look badass when they’re descending
– Both of us: Jason Momoa looks like a freak without a beard
– Stellan Skarsgard’s character does not go in brown liquid in the book
– Spice isn’t shiny it’s just darker than sand
– They should have their still suits on as it’s a waste of water without them
My son also says he’s worried that this will be too action-heavy and not true to the plot of the book, which is about unchecked power. I don’t care too much as long as it’s entertaining, which is how I expect most people feel. After seeing the first movie I had very low expectations for a remake, but I’m somewhat optimistic and so is my son, who says he’s “optimistically pessimistic.” He gets that from me in general.
Also, if you’d like a Dune fix and have already seen the movie, I highly recommended the 2013 documentary Jodorosky’s Dune, available on Amazon Prime and free on IMDB TV. There’s no way I can do this justice, but it’s about a failed attempt in the 1970s to adapt the movie. Jodorosky is a director with a sweeping, larger-than-life vision for Dune that collapsed under his …read more