March 30, 2023

“Dune,” a well-known and immensely-loved novel series by Frank Herberg is coming back to the big screen. Actors Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa and many more are coming together to make a new film adaptation. The new trailer for this film was released on Sept. 9 and already has almost 22.5 million views.

The deal for the rights to a new adaptation of this beloved sci-fi series was made back in 2016. The director Denis Villeneuve is best known for his Oscar nomination of Best Director for his film “Arrival” in 2016 and his 2017 film “Blade Runner 2049.”

BC Bierman, Ph.D., associate professor of emerging media, explained what “Dune” is about, why he is so excited about the film and why it is such a highly anticipated film.

“‘Dune’ is a novel written by Frank Herbert and originally published in Analog magazine in 1965 and is currently still the top-selling sci-fi novel of all time,” Bierman said. “And rightfully so. Set in a very distant future, Herbert’s work is a deeply complex and expertly structured narrative that is now proving more prescient and timely than ever as the story addresses political corruption, the dangers of nepotism, religious fundamentalism, nationalist extremism, the dangers of technology, cultural colonialism, and, most importantly, the willful destruction of ecosystems as the politically powerful plunder of natural resources to their own blind advantage. However, there are hopeful silver linings that are as equally prescient and timely.”

However, this film is, in fact, a remake. Director Alejandro Jodorowsky attempted to make a film adaptation of “Dune” in the 1970s but it was never made. This film was going to star names such as Orson Welles, Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger, with music by Pink Floyd.

Director David Lynch was the first to succeed in making a full-length “Dune” movie in 1984. At the time it was the most expensive movie ever made. The film was a commercial flop upon its release but since has gained cult status in the Dune fan community.

“Dune” is a story of a universe that is full of planets divided by noble families, a fight for power, and a struggle for survival. Full of new cultures, languages, religions, politics, species and monsters, the world that is created by Herbert is vast and complex. This is why directors have struggled to bring the world and story created in the Dune novel to life.

“There are high expectations that he can pull off what Lynch could not,” Bierman said. “Of course, Villeneuve has the advantage of learning from Lynch’s mistakes and the benefit of current CGI platforms that should allow for a much more visually compelling imagining of the disparate planets and ecologies, complex characters, delicately interwoven plotlines, alien lifeforms, and unique technologies of ‘Dune.’ I can’t wait and fingers crossed.”

The “Dune” story has set the expectations for sci-fi stories and has influenced many we know and love today.

Torrin Diaz, senior film production major and longtime fan on the novel, said “Dune” has inspired many sci-fi stories that came after it.

“‘Dune’ is such a classic piece of epic science fiction and has heavily inspired many of the stories we love, including ‘Star Wars,’” said Diaz. “I think fans of the book and newcomers to the franchise are going to be in for a great time when it releases.”

Jonathan Cadenhead, senior film production major, said Dune is going to change science fiction culture and the genre itself.

“It’s really cool to see come to fruition what I think the author meant it to do, which was (to have) ‘Dune’ impact culture and let people see worlds differently,” said Cadenhead. “I think it’s going to be one of the biggest films ever made, and I think it’s going to shift science-fiction culture and the film genre.”

The release date is sometime in 2021, unknown and pushed back now because of the pandemic. 

Oscar Isaac, an actor staring in “Dune” and who starred in the “Star Wars” movies, has said in a Q&A that no x-wing or millennium falcon can compare to this. “Dune” is arguably one of the most anticipated films in history.

Leave a Reply