SHAI HULUD fellow Fremen and Fedyakin, let’s talk EVERYTHING we know about Legendary Pictures’ upcoming feature film adaptation of Frank Herbert‘s seminal science fiction work, “Dune“.
Denis Villeneuve is helming and co-writing the script with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts. Villeneuve and Mary Parent are producing, along with Cale Boyter, with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Thomas Tull, and Kim Herbert serving as executive producers.
Roth says at one point, he had a draft of the script that was 200 pages long.
Villeneuve has attested that his plan was to split the first “Dune” novel into two films, and that’s exactly what Legendary Pictures is planning to do.
Joshua Grode, Legendary Entertainment CEO, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the studio’s upcoming slate, and confirmed the plan for 2 films.
Joshua Grode: We’re making a diversified slate financially. We have some that are huge like Dune.
THR: Will Dune be two movies?
Grode: That’s the plan. There’s a backstory that was hinted at in some of the books [that we expanded]. Also, when you read the book there’s a logical place to stop the movie before the book is over.
Originally, we believed longtime Villeneueve collaborator (and absolute legend) Roger Deakins was going to be helming cinematography, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, we’ll be getting “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” cinematographer Greig Fraser!
David J. Peterson, who created the spoken languages of Dothraki and High Valyrian on the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones“, was brought on to possibly [we assume] building Azhar for the Bene Gesserit or Chakobsa for the Fremen (among others) . He spoke with i09 about the project:
“I asked [the studio before the interview], especially because it seemed like every day you’re jumping on Twitter and, ‘Oh this person is working on Dune.’ I’m like, ‘Can I say I’m working on Dune?’ They said, ‘Yeah you can say you’re working on Dune, but you can’t say anything about what you’re doing.’ I will say this: It’s more than one thing.”
Hans Zimmer will be composing the score for the film, and we can’t think of anyone better to create the sounds of Arrakis.
Some additional names to mention as far as production goes: three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Quills”) and co-costume designer Bob Morgan, stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception”), two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (“Arrival,” “Sicario,” “The Young Victoria”), two-time Oscar-nominated editor Joe Walker(“Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” “12 Years a Slave”), two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (“First Man,” “Blade Runner 2049”), and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer (“Blade Runner 2049”).
That said, let’s meet our cast-
Two-time Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet will be playing the Kwisatz Haderach aka Muad Dib aka Paul Atreides. He will “shorten The Way” according to the Bene Gesserit sisterhood’s Missionaria Protectiva.
Rebecca Ferguson will be playing the Bene Gesserit Jessica, who is also Paul’s mother, and concubine to Duke Leto of Caladan.
Stellan Skarsgård will be playing the nefarious Baron Vladimir Harkonnen of Giedi Prime; schemer and dangerous.
Oscar Isaac will be playing Duke Leto Atreides, father of Paul and Imperial choice to take over the spice melange mining on planet Arrakis.
Jason Momoa will be playing Duncan Idaho, swordmaster in the service of House Atreides, and one of Duke Leto’s right-hand men.
Zendaya will be playing Chani, Fremen warrior and daughter of Liet.
Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling will be playing the head of the Bene Gesserit- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam.
Josh Brolin will be playing Gurney Haleck, Warmaster for House Atreides and one of Paul’s primary trainers.
Dave Bautista will be playing Count Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, often called “Beast Rabban”, elder nephew of the Baron Harkonnen, and overseer of Arrakis for some time.
Javier Bardem will be playing Stilgar, Naib (leader) of Sietch Tabr, one of the Fremen settlements on Arrakis.
David Dastmalchian will be playing Pieter De Vrys, a Mentat (human computer) in the service of House Harkonnen.
Chang Chen will be playing Dr. Wellington Yueh, personal physician of Duke Leto of House Atreides.
Babs Olusanmokun has been rumored to be playing Fremen warrior Jamis. We were friends of Jamis!
Stephen McKinley Henderson has been rumored as being part of the cast. We’re thinking he’s either the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV of House Corrino, or (the more likely) Imperial planetologist Liet Kynes.
Yes, it’s worth pointing out there are some big key players from the first novel NOT confirmed as far as casting, and this can probably be explained by the planned two films to cover the novel. This would include Alia and Feyd specifically.
Odd though, that there still hasn’t been a Shadow Mapes casting announcement yet either.
We know that filming has been going on since March 2018 in Budapest and Jordan, and that Warner Bros. Pictures has a set release date of November 20th, 2020 for “Dune“.
Set on the planet Arrakis, we find ourselves exploring the story of two warring galactic royal families House Atreides and House Harkonnen. When Duke Leto Atreides is assassinated, his son Paul and wife Lady Jessica escape only to be adopted by the Fremen, who becomes Paul’s personal army against the Harkonnen as he develops powers from the spice, a substance that extends life and powers interstellar travel. A tangled web of royal intrigue is revealed with the Emperor and other cosmic powers pulling the strings while attempting to erase house Atreides.
According to multiple sources, there are plans within plans for WarnerMedia to create a “Dune” spinoff television series about the Bene Gesserit, called “Dune: The Sisterhood“. It will be for WB’s new streaming service, and reports say it’s already been given a straight-to-series order. Villeneuve will direct the pilot from Jon Spaihts’ script.
Villeneuve said about the project:
“The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me. Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series.”
We will of course keep you updated with all things “Dune” as information becomes available. Chances are, we won’t be getting anything from SDCC this year as Warner Bros. has chosen to skip the event.