To design the Fremen is to design the Stillsuit
September 26, 2015 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Dune: The Animated Series - Dragon Age: Inquisition concept artist Matt Rhodes reimagines the classic SF story as a Legends of Korra style animated show inspired by the art of Tarsem Singh.
posted by Artw (37 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
Of course what I'd really be hanging out for is a Peter Chung series set in the Incal/Metabarons universe.
posted by Artw at 8:05 PM on September 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


Water tribe!


...does not like this planet.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:10 PM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Faces need to be covered, and Stilgar should not have a beard, for the same reason. Otehr than that, looks pretty good, in a Mid-80s Heeav Metal Movie sort of way.
posted by happyroach at 8:18 PM on September 26, 2015


It's worth noting that, up until this year's Self/less, Tarsem Singh's costume designer was the late Eiko Ishioka, who also did stunning work on Bram Stoker's Dracula for Francis Ford Coppola. For anyone else out there who loves this kind of design like I do, try to find the book Eiko on Stage, which catalogs her work up through The Cell, with equal time devoted to her non-film work like costume designs for a staging of Wagner's Ring Cycle.
posted by Merzbau at 9:03 PM on September 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


If you don't care to read a pedantic nerd beanplating, just skip this comment.

He kind of missed the point on the Saurdaukaur. Saurdaukaur are supposed to be like the Fremen, they come from the emperor's prison planet, Salusa Secundus, which is supposed to be almost as brutal and harrowing to survive on as Dune. A running theme in the series is watching the Fremen follow the same path to overconfidence, cynicism, and downfall as the Saurdaukaur had already taken during the time in which Dune is set. Making the Saurdaukaur these heavily armored colossi to be taken down by sand is much less satisfying to me than making them a hollow elite too used to power and victory running up against fighters who are still animated by their religion and living in and hardened by a brutal, inhospitable planet.

I realize this is a very narrowly focused criticism, but one thing I love about Dune is the careful construction of the setting. For example: the reason the Fremen are a potent force in Dune is because of the way the shield, the spacing guild monopoly on spaceflight, and the lack of AI coordinated multi-planetary civilizations brought about by the Butlerian Jihad and the subsequent OC Bible interact together to shape and define how wars are fought. Everything about the world is there for a reason. You start changing the construction for whatever reason you undermine the structure and themes in the story.

All that said, I'd really like to see the artist's take on Liet Kynes and Duncan Idaho.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:07 PM on September 26, 2015 [34 favorites]


Which Duncan Idaho?

...and I'd love to see his takes on Ix and the Bene Tleilax.
posted by qcubed at 9:12 PM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Many machines on Ix.
posted by Artw at 9:20 PM on September 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


I would like to see Face Dancers animated so that viewers could tell subtly that they were "dancing" but other characters could not.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:25 PM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


qcubed: Period appropriate Duncan, before Leto II started going through Duncans like they were copy paper. And I don't know, the Axolotyl tanks may be a bridge too far for any animated series.

infinitewindow: You might be able to do that by altering the squash and stretch of their movements. Make the face dancers more elastic in their movements. More prone to 'cartoony' body gyrations and motions. It'd have to be handled carefully though. You could also extend it so that when the face dancer (as I'm pretty sure happens at least once) totally replicates the subject, and forgets they're a face dancer, the movements 'harden' into normality.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:36 PM on September 26, 2015


Which Duncan Idaho?

Your own private Idaho.

posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:53 PM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


He kind of missed the point on the Saurdaukaur. Saurdaukaur are supposed to be like the Fremen, they come from the emperor's prison planet, Salusa Secundus, which is supposed to be almost as brutal and harrowing to survive on as Dune. A running theme in the series is watching the Fremen follow the same path to overconfidence, cynicism, and downfall as the Saurdaukaur had already taken during the time in which Dune is set. Making the Saurdaukaur these heavily armored colossi to be taken down by sand is much less satisfying to me than making them a hollow elite too used to power and victory running up against fighters who are still animated by their religion and living in and hardened by a brutal, inhospitable planet.

They may well be the latter there, but that doesn't mean they won't still be heavily armored colossi.
posted by kafziel at 10:14 PM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


The style reminds me a little bit of The Thief and the Cobbler.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:56 PM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll repeat myself: I always thought that Dune could be properly adapted in an animated format. I don't think it will happen in my life time.

The concepts presented however, are not for me.
posted by juiceCake at 12:14 AM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I still think someone should do Jodo's Dune in animated form.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:44 AM on September 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


To be pedantic just for a moment, it's "Sardaukar".
posted by lumensimus at 4:09 AM on September 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Baaah!! So crazy to see Matt's work up on the Metafilter front page!

Matt was my first boyfriend (ah, days of artschool yore...) and after not thinking about him for many years, I had a dream last night where he and I discussed where his artwork was going. And now, here it is on Metafilter for me to have a look.

Get out of my head, Metafilter. Cripes.
posted by Sarah_Lena at 5:02 AM on September 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


I don't remember Dune enough to be pedantic, but I love this art. Particularly the emperor hiding in his ridiculous armor suit.

An animated series would be cool, but the art is detailed enough that I'd probably rather just see it in a comic.
posted by selfnoise at 6:34 AM on September 27, 2015


"Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You'll find me there, your first boyfriend, staring out at you, Sarah_Lena!"
posted by rock swoon has no past at 6:35 AM on September 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm actually in the midst of Dune Messiah now. I really dig the art. Though the Fremen design looks a little off to me, I'd expect them to look leaner, or a little less hydrated looking. Though I dig Jessica's look a lot.
posted by KernalM at 6:47 AM on September 27, 2015


If there was a Dune animated series, or even comic, I'd want it to follow the Moebius designs over these. The style does nothing for me, and Moebius's take on the characters is much more appealing.
posted by graymouser at 6:49 AM on September 27, 2015


It's a nice idea, but something tells me that we might not see a popular television series about a group of righteous religious freedom fighters from a desert land fighting and repelling a ruthless empire that want their precious resources - at least, not for a few decades.
posted by The River Ivel at 8:20 AM on September 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


An animated Dune would be awesome, but I'd prefer an Art Deco style.
posted by Beholder at 8:26 AM on September 27, 2015


I love these stillsuits!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:14 AM on September 27, 2015


This prompted a way too long dive into various Dune wikis, and now I get to get this off my chest because what is fandom if not overwrought overanalysis? Dune is a brilliant exercise in world building but some of the plotting details are weak as hell.

You're telling me that this enormous, industrial-if-feudal galactic civilization is dependent on a single resource, farmed on a single world, without any industrial techniques and whose production process is really not understood. And also that the emperor of this civilization decides that the best way to eliminate a rival is to give them complete control over this resource so they'll fight over it.

Also that your imperial house doctor has 'imperial conditioning' that makes him impervious to betrayal. Your rival's genius assassin dude figures out how to break it, which is by holding his wife hostage. That had never occurred to anyone?
posted by pmv at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's a nice idea, but something tells me that we might not see a popular television series about a group of righteous religious freedom fighters from a desert land fighting and repelling a ruthless empire that want their precious resources - at least, not for a few decades.

Downplay the religious and resource angles, and it's currently airing on the Disney Channel as Star Wars: Rebels.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:20 AM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't like Reverend Mother Helen Gaius Mohiam, she's too decrepit, she should have complete Prana-Bindu control over her body, no matter how old and failing.
Unless of course it's a ruse, to lull her enemies.

Lady Jessica is great though.

The Sardauker are wrong though. Why wear armour when you have shields?

I like the Stillsuit design, but it makes the same flaw as the movie. Not enough cloaks. The fremen flow.
I would say to design the fremen is to design the Jubba cloak, and the crysknife.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 11:58 AM on September 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


And I don't know, the Axolotyl tanks may be a bridge too far for any animated series.

If I'm not mistaken, the "truth" about the axolotl tanks was only revealed in the Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson books, which mostly read like awful, overexplainy Dune fanfic. One of the secret virtues of the elder Herbert's books over Herbert fils' is that he knew when to keep the details vague, letting the names of things suffice to tell you what they were. I'm fine with simply understanding axolotl tanks as a bit of gussied-up cloning/bioreactor tech, and not (ROT13 for spoilers) gur ubeevoyr zvfbtlavfgvp cbfguhzna sngr bs nyy gur Gyrvynkh jbzra.

That said, I'm pretty sure that any Dune series (animated or not) that might happen in the future would almost have to be pitched towards an adult viewership, so some of the sexier/gorier/creepier stuff in the books would probably go over just fine from a network (or streaming channel) S&P standpoint.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:29 PM on September 27, 2015


I think the Axolotl tank nature was revealed in Heretics of Dune, and thus is valid, sorry.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:12 PM on September 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think the Axolotl tank nature was revealed in Heretics of Dune, and thus is valid, sorry.

Yeah, their true nature was pretty heavily hinted at in Heretics. (and sort of confirmed by the surprised reaction of a Bene Tleilax)
posted by Avelwood at 1:18 PM on September 27, 2015


Gah, nerdfail! In my defense, I've only read Heretics and Chapterhouse once each, and I was on some pretty groovy painkillers for my wisdom teeth at the time.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:35 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also that your imperial house doctor has 'imperial conditioning' that makes him impervious to betrayal. Your rival's genius assassin dude figures out how to break it, which is by holding his wife hostage. That had never occurred to anyone?

It wasn't just holding his wife hostage, it was also that his wife was a Bene Gesserit adept who was controlling/changing Yueh (out of love!), likely undermining the conditioning to some extent. Suborning Yueh wasn't like designing a touchscreen, it was like designing a touchscreen with multitouch.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:22 PM on September 27, 2015


gur ubeevoyr zvfbtlavfgvp cbfguhzna sngr bs nyy gur Gyrvynkh jbzra

Oh Dune, you so Dune-y. By which I mean spiritual/sexual dimorphism to disgusting levels; Gor with its pinkie raised.
posted by nom de poop at 5:23 PM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gah, nerdfail! In my defense, I've only read Heretics and Chapterhouse once each, and I was on some pretty groovy painkillers for my wisdom teeth at the time.

When I had my wisdom teeth removed (hello groovy painkillers) I couldn't stop thinking about Robert Aspirin's Myth books and kept trying to grab a force line with my mind so that I could levitate away.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:39 PM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Jodorowsky's Dune... I'm not sure if the documentary talked about it, but a lot of Jodorowsky's concepts for Dune ended up being adapted into comic book form. Jodorowsky created three comic book series set in the 'Jodoverse,' an original sci-fi universe of his own creation. It's very much 'Dune on Acid,' for lack of a better way to put it.

The series I read, The Metabarons, is a generation-spanning story about a family of ruthless intergalactic mercenaries with godlike abilities. It's a crazy story, sometimes philosophical, sometimes nonsensical, and by turns bizarre, sexually explicit and ultra-violent. I haven't finished the series, so it's hard to say if it all adds up to much, but so far it's definitely been a fun, crazy ride. If nothing else, the visuals are frequently amazing, as you might expect from Jodorowsky. And the artist, Juan Giménez, is also quite talented.

The other two I haven't read. One of them, The Incal, is illustrated by Moebius, the concept artist from Jodorowsky's Dune. There's also a third series, the Technopriests, which I think is a kind of spinoff to the Metabarons.

Of course, it's a different medium, and not an actual Dune adaptation, but a lot of the style and concepts from Jodorowsky's Dune are carried over and expanded upon. They're definitely worth checking out, either in physical form or in a digital CBR/Comic Book Reader format that I'm sure many of you could find online quite easily.
posted by Green Winnebago at 12:27 AM on September 28, 2015


Read The Technopriests next, Green Winnebago!

(It's the only one I've read, and it's great.)
posted by lumensimus at 1:21 AM on September 28, 2015


The Incal is definitely worth reading, but more for the Moebius than it is for the Jodorowsky. The story is an occasionally goofy, mystic journey wankfest, but holy shit does it LOOK beautiful. Seriously, it's one of the most finely rendered comics I've ever read. I wouldn't go in expecting much in the way of Dune influence though, or at least nothing past some surface stuff.
posted by picea at 7:39 AM on September 28, 2015


as a huge fan of dune (and korra!), i was surprised at how strongly i disliked these designs. the dune universe is complex and nuanced. this "visual storytelling up to 11" misses the point entirely IMHO.

Rather than understanding the epoch-spanning scope of the source material, hes just simplifying the already simplified characters from Lynch's much-maligned adaptation of Dune to the point of caricature. i understand that, to a degree, was the concept he was going for in marrying it with the Tarsem Singh aesthetics, but its a disservice to one of the most famous science fiction series of all time.

id absolutely love to see a dune animated series, there is so much amazing stuff that could be done with it. but i would *hate* for it to be around this shallow of a visual concept.

/nerd rant
posted by young_son at 5:31 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


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