spicy
April 13, 2020 1:08 PM   Subscribe

A First Look at Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Vanity Fair kicks off their preview of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the epic sci-fi novel (set to open on December 18). "Tomorrow, Vanity Fair will provide an even more expansive exploration of Villeneuve’s quest to bring Dune to the screen, but today we begin with the central hero: Paul Atreides, a child of privilege raised by a powerful family, but not one strong enough to protect him from the dangers that await." Also starring Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Oscar Isaac (Duke Leto), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica Atreides) and Javier Bardem (Stilgar). posted by not_the_water (128 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
a child of privilege raised by a powerful family

When I think of privilege I don't think of a kid trained to avoid assassins, who want to murder him, because of his last name.

Is this film going to mirror the bland miniseries or the original masterpiece?
posted by Beholder at 1:14 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Timothée Chalamet?!? And this is not a joke????
posted by schroedinger at 1:14 PM on April 13


... and where is Duncan Idaho?
posted by suelac at 1:16 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


When I think of privilege I don't think of a kid trained to avoid assassins, who want to murder him, because of his last name.

Even if your life has troubles, when you're the scion of a family that rules an entire planet, you count as privileged. He's no normie, he's a prince, (and also the outcome of centuries of eugenics focussing on elite bloodlines)...
posted by dis_integration at 1:19 PM on April 13 [35 favorites]


Is this film going to mirror the bland miniseries or the original masterpiece?

I worry about whether anyone can do justice to the original book, but based on his track record, I'm very willing to give Denis Villeneuve the benefit of the doubt.
posted by tclark at 1:20 PM on April 13 [8 favorites]


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
posted by stevil at 1:20 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I'm worried that the Villeneuve backlash is about to begin, and it rides on just how moody the trailer is when it drops. I even see it in myself, I think Blade Runner 2049 leaned a little far from a cohesive narrative to have lasting appeal.
posted by Think_Long at 1:20 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


It's been ages, but I think I liked the mini-series better than the movie with its blocky-shields and little shouty-boxes and ornithopters that just floaty-flew.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:28 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Also starring...
The Padishah Emperor (Werner Herzog) nice
Gaius Helen Mohaim (Helen Mirren) wow
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (James Corden) oh, dammit.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:28 PM on April 13 [17 favorites]


the original masterpiece

That is a take.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:29 PM on April 13 [36 favorites]


I am a huge fan of the Lynch version. Well, not fan maybe but I just have all these voices that have followed me for years and will never leave. Not just the usual Sting 'I WILL KILL HIM' or McLachlan's endless repetitions of 'Dune, desert planet', but little ones like Jose Ferrer just getting through it with 'Sardaukar Terror Troops' and of course Patrick Stewart forced to turn it up to 11 to say things like 'PREPARE THIS FOR THE CROSSING!". Dozens more, really. And I've only seen it all the way through ONCE.
posted by dragstroke at 1:36 PM on April 13 [27 favorites]


I'm really looking forward to this movie. I thought the Blade Runner sequel was about as good as a sequel to Blade Runner could possibly be. It felt like a sequel, but also felt like its own thing.

I've tried to read Dune twice. The world building and lore is unparalleled. The concepts are lasting, memorable and influential. But the writing? Meh. For example, I remember re-reading paragraphs and even pages because it was unclear who was speaking during dialog scenes. I mean this from a basic, nuts and bolts, technical standpoint: the writing is poor.
posted by SoberHighland at 1:37 PM on April 13 [11 favorites]


I hated the dank color palette of BR2049, and I hate it here, too. Is that a corporate mandate from Warner or something?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:37 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Also starring...

The for-real also starring on imdb is really fuckin' good, y'all.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:38 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


I don't think it's that weird a take to admire the Lynch movie. It's a deeply flawed, but unlike the miniseries it had a unique atmosphere that tried to match the weird, quasi-mystical ecology of the book. That's the thing that really grabbed my attention about the books - not the racist eugenics plot or badly drawn characters.

My biggest worry about a Dune adaptation is that it will try too hard to draw in fans by being less weird and more like Game of Thrones. I hope a Villeneuve adaptation will avoid that, even if it turns out not to be exactly the adaptation I would want.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:41 PM on April 13 [7 favorites]


I'd much rather see an adaptation of work by Ann Leckie or NK Jemisin in 2020, but remaking something already done more than once is cool.
posted by blakewest at 1:41 PM on April 13 [17 favorites]


I was a freshman when I got the book "the making of Dune" and I think I'll stick to the Sting version as its burnt into my mental screen now
posted by Mrs Potato at 1:41 PM on April 13


A movie or series of NK Jemisin's Fifth Season would be welcomed by me. But I believe it would be extremely difficult to pull off skillfully. Even the writing tense in that book is specific and part of the overall tale. Not sure how you could do that in film... but then again I'm no film director or auteur—good thing no one's asking my advice.
posted by SoberHighland at 1:45 PM on April 13


It still blows my mind that Dune, a story about an indigenous Muslim population well versed in guerrilla warfare that fights a vastly more powerful imperialist force intent on controlling a natural resource that makes travel across vast distances (among other things) possible, was published in 1965.

Expectations are moderated, but with that director and that cast? Hype is the mindkiller. Hype is the little-death that brings total obliteration..
posted by Ouverture at 1:47 PM on April 13 [30 favorites]


OK, I looked more into Timothée Chalamet and I didn't realize he is a real actor who does real things. This video was my sole exposure to him.
posted by schroedinger at 1:53 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


I hated the dank color palette of BR2049

I mean, did you ever see Blade Runner?
posted by tclark at 1:53 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


(I guess this is also not quite an eponysterically but certainly some kind of eponymic synchronicity. references within references within references...)
posted by curious nu at 1:53 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I have a hard time thinking of this as a 'remake' of either the "strange and interesting but not really Dune" Lynch thing or the abysmal mini-series.
I have an easier time thinking it's a remake of Jodorowsky's unmade version, with a CGI emperor played by Dalí, as the gods intended.
posted by signal at 1:56 PM on April 13 [6 favorites]


I hated the dank color palette of BR2049

I mean, did you ever see Blade Runner?


no it was too dank to see, not sure Blade Runner was even in that movie
posted by curious nu at 1:56 PM on April 13 [12 favorites]


the original masterpiece

That is a take.

Shhhhh, in my deepest fantasies, Jodorowsky's Dune is real and "the original masterpiece."

---

Also:

"A first look at the most boring part of Dune. Paul."
posted by deadaluspark at 1:56 PM on April 13 [17 favorites]


I guess for those who are looking for further signs that the apocalypse is nigh...
posted by chavenet at 2:00 PM on April 13


The Fifth Season is in development for television by TNT. That doesn't mean it's going to happen for sure, but someone is making the attempt.
posted by foxfirefey at 2:02 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


Wait, is the masthead image of Emo Paul the only image in that short, short article?

My problem with Bladerunner 2049 is that it felt like instructions for solving a Rubik's cube, just a little too tidy. I guess I'll have to rewatch it. Arrival was pretty good. Desire is the mind-killer, and I refuse to let my expectations cause future suffering.
posted by mecran01 at 2:05 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


i still have no idea how they are going to make this filmable. in the book so much important exposition happens in thinking italics. the Lynch version replicated this using voiceover which was not good.

i think this movie is going to be good though. seriously, look at the cast. Duncan Idaho is going to be played by Jason Momoa. and Chalamet is particularly great casting -- very believable that everyone would underestimate how dangerous he is.

on the other hand, I remember reading "the only good fandom left online is Dune", which is basically correct, and I'm sad that as a big movie studio marketing machine spins up, that dynamic is going to go away.
posted by vogon_poet at 2:06 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


New Zealand shore with flying boulders, getting a strong influence from Buckaroo Bonzai.
posted by sammyo at 2:08 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


I looked more into Timothée Chalamet and I didn't realize he is a real actor who does real things.

He is indeed.

….Although I confess when I heard this was happening, even though I've been a seriously intrigued fan of his my gut reaction was "oh god no".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:08 PM on April 13


if they can write a script that somehow completely bypasses the incredibly tedious "is Thufir Hawat a traitor" subplot that essentially ruined the book for me, I'll upgrade to vaguely interested. But I doubt anything will top the Lynch version, which was just so strikingly original in so many ways I don't even accept it as a traditional "movie" it is more of its own thing.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:10 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


i wish they would publish the book of Jodorowski's storyboards - it would sell like hotcakes and he'd never need to make another one of his absolutely beautiful yet totally self-indulgent navel-gazing movies again (and i say that in the best way)
posted by kokaku at 2:20 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


also, i hope this will do so well they'll take it all the way through to sandworm Leto II
posted by kokaku at 2:21 PM on April 13 [7 favorites]


I got a serious man crush on Chalamet watching The King, confirmed with Little Women.
posted by No Robots at 2:27 PM on April 13


Way way back in many many days ago, I was 'atreides' on some chat servers. I remember some people thinking it was a reference to some dune-themed RPG and texting me like 'hey, what's your favorite game level????', and being nonplussed when I said that it was in ref to the book and I'd never played the game.
I think I came off as a bit of a snob.
posted by signal at 2:29 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Who's playing Sting?
posted by biffa at 2:30 PM on April 13 [47 favorites]


i wish they would publish the book of Jodorowski's storyboards - it would sell like hotcakes and he'd never need to make another one of his absolutely beautiful yet totally self-indulgent navel-gazing movies again (and i say that in the best way)

Does he still make movies? I thought he just made beautifully illustrated, poorly written comic books these days.

Anyway, here is a gallery of 300+ images from Jodrowsy's Dune bible.
posted by rodlymight at 2:41 PM on April 13 [19 favorites]


My biggest worry about a Dune adaptation is that it will try too hard to draw in fans by being less weird and more like Game of Thrones.

This is basically my worry, too. Villeneuve has shown himself to be a thoughtful, talented filmmaker, but he doesn't seem to get weird. I've only seen Arrival and BR2049 though, maybe he gets weird in his earlier films.
posted by neckro23 at 2:42 PM on April 13


Wait, is the masthead image of Emo Paul the only image in that short, short article?

I was wondering the same thing. One murky pic and short text more-or-less outlining the (well known) story of Dune, with a couple of actors’ names tossed-in? That’s what passes for a first-look now?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:57 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


I have not seen the miniseries but the soundtrack fucking rules.
posted by adrianhon at 3:02 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Oh, really? How many songs by Toto did it have?
posted by The Tensor at 3:08 PM on April 13 [11 favorites]


This is basically my worry, too. Villeneuve has shown himself to be a thoughtful, talented filmmaker, but he doesn't seem to get weird. I've only seen Arrival and BR2049 though, maybe he gets weird in his earlier films.

Have you seen Enemy yet? It's not my fave - it's a bit rapey. But it probably fits a close enough sort of weird to Dune.
posted by eviemath at 3:11 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Does he still make movies?

Yes, Jodorowsky still makes movies. His most recent feature is Endless Poetry from 2016, which I thought was one of the best films he's ever done.
posted by treepour at 3:15 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


We are running out of time to let John Waters take his turn at the helm.
posted by delfin at 3:31 PM on April 13 [34 favorites]


I just want a version where everybody murders Gurney Halleck the millionth time he starts playing mournfully right in the middle of a conversation/meeting.

(I haven't watched any of the adaptations. Did they have this?)
posted by trig at 3:35 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


It still blows my mind that Dune, a story about an indigenous Muslim population well versed in guerrilla warfare that fights a vastly more powerful imperialist force intent on controlling a natural resource that makes travel across vast distances (among other things) possible, was published in 1965.

One of my favourite things about Dune is the number of people who assume that House Atreides are supposed to be European, sometimes to the point of complaining about the book being Eurocentric, and completely miss all the hints that they are more like the Ottomans.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:47 PM on April 13 [15 favorites]


And I've only seen it all the way through ONCE.

I watched it on Netflix last night. It was almost completely awful the second time too, even if there are good bits here and there (like the guys with vacuum cleaners who suck up the juice off the floor after the navigator has gone by). I'd be interested in reading reviews that talk about why it's good from a Lynchian perspective, but I'm worried because even he doesn't seem to like it.
posted by sneebler at 3:53 PM on April 13


Visually and creatively and casting-wise Lynch’s Dune was a masterpiece! The costumes alone were amazing.

It was just his narrative story telling was so warped and the script went back and forth through the insane telephone tag of De Lauretiis “English as a second language” handlers a million times that it was doomed.

I’d love to see the same cast, cinematographer and production design in the hands of a decent script writer and producer.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 4:13 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


I'm a big Lynch fan, and his version of Dune is one of a handful of movies I love uncritically from childhood. Dragstroke's list of line readings really speaks to me.

But I gained a new perspective on it after attending a midnight screening with a bunch of people who think of it mainly as a cheesy 80s movie. They're not wrong.
posted by theory at 4:55 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Lynch's Dune is all about mood and (for lack of better term) capturing the feeling of something really alien. A set of paintings on the screen. Where it fails (often) in terms of narrative it succeeds in painting the otherness of the world that Herbert's characters inhabit, of which they are a product. And I'd hazard a guess that would be the same appeal of a Jodorowsky version.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 5:06 PM on April 13 [7 favorites]


I'm sooooooooo tired of texts with one woman to every five men. Dune was written in the dark ages, but there's no excuse not to recast now, it's fucking ridiculous.
posted by smoke at 5:08 PM on April 13 [14 favorites]


The only purpose of a Dune film is to drum up interest in neo-medievalist space opera again, so that the Foundation series adaptation can do better.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:09 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Lynch's Dune is a pretty good adaptation of Dune World grafted onto a hurried, mostly incomprehensible adaptation of The Prophet of Dune, so I'm allowing myself a tiny ray of hope that Villeneuve's two-film adaptation will come together.
posted by The Tensor at 5:18 PM on April 13


Other settings worth adapting for intrigue-filled costume drama space epics to fill the void emptied by 2019's simultaneous implosion of both Game of Thrones and Star Wars: the Hyperion Cantos (formerly inexplicably linked to Bradley Cooper), and the soon-to-be-reborn Fading Suns.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:25 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


No word yet on whether Villeneuve cast dogs that don't have breathing problems in hot, dusty environments.
posted by theory at 5:30 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


I am a huge fan of the Lynch version.

We actually tried to watch that last week, for the first time since childhood. It. Is. Unwatchable. In. 2020. If anyone disagrees I challenge you to rent it tonight and watch it sober, not rely on your memories of a simpler, possibly stoned more Flash Gordon-y past.

Also I read ALL the books more than once as a kid, and the surface parallels to GOT are there and they are real, get used to hearing about them. Buzzfeed: which witch consort are you most like?
posted by fshgrl at 5:30 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (James Corden) oh, dammit.

This is a very worrying casting choice.

OK, I looked more into Timothée Chalamet and I didn't realize he is a real actor who does real things.

I'm an old so I barely knew that a Timothée Chalamet was a human and not some type of sparkling wine and I'm primed to hate him on name alone. Quod vide: Shia LaBeouf.

Oh, really? How many songs by Toto did it have?

The only correct answer to this question is not enough.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:44 PM on April 13 [6 favorites]


One film still photo is not much to go on...

I'm a fan of the Lynch Dune, it's a costume, set, & art direction extravaganza, if anything...

(Picard w/battle-pug)
posted by ovvl at 6:15 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


I'm not ashamed to say that I really rather enjoy the miniseries. It's a weird mix of (what looks to me like) opera stagecraft and CGI, but if you can get beyond that the story remains solid, the acting is fine, it's a good adaptation but on a weensy budget.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:26 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Yueh! Yueh! Yueh!" goes the refrain. "A million remakes were not enough for Yuen!”
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:35 PM on April 13 [11 favorites]


the Lynch version replicated this using voiceover which was not good

My "I will maintain that the thought bubble interior monologues are good and cool" T-shirt has people asking a lot of questions already answered by my shirt.
posted by juv3nal at 6:35 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Wikipedia has Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen:
Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, the scion of House Atreides
Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Paul's Bene Gesserit mother and concubine to Duke Leto
Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, a nobleman newly bestowed with the stewardship of the dangerous planet Arrakis, source of the spice
Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, weapons master of House Atreides and Paul's mentor
Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, sworn enemy to Leto and former steward of Arrakis
Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, the brutish nephew of Baron Harkonnen
Zendaya as Chani, Fremen daughter of Imperial Planetologist Liet-Kynes and Paul's love interest
David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries, a twisted Mentat loyal to the Baron
Stephen McKinley Henderson
Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam, a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother and the Emperor's Truthsayer
Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, swordmaster of House Atreides
Javier Bardem as Stilgar, leader of the Fremen tribe at Sietch Tabr
Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh, a Suk doctor in the employ of the Atreides family
IMDB, too,
posted by kirkaracha at 6:39 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Dune cast - pics
posted by Tom-B at 6:48 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


No Alia?
posted by Eyebeams at 6:52 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Nor Feyd-Rautha, among other notable omissions
posted by Count Hasimir Fenring at 6:56 PM on April 13


Villeneuve is actually making 2 Dune movies! But I believe that together they cover the narrative of the first novel.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 6:56 PM on April 13


Dave Bautista as the Beast is pretty inspired casting, although if we're going with WWE guys, they've kind of already got a beast (note, I can't imagine Lesnar being any kind of decent actor).

Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho though? I always sort of saw Idaho as a skinny/wiry type, more of a dancer's physique than, well, a guy who looks like a chiselled living god of muscular partying (and was in the second worst Conan movie of all time... in your heart, you know Destroyer sucked).
posted by Ghidorah at 7:09 PM on April 13 [6 favorites]


Villeneuve is actually making 2 Dune movies! But I believe that together they cover the narrative of the first novel.

That makes a lot of sense, it's far too much of a story for one movie.
posted by fshgrl at 7:38 PM on April 13


kirkaracha: "Zendaya as Chani…"

Stop. Where do I send my money?
posted by signal at 8:08 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


One of my favourite things about Dune is the number of people who assume that House Atreides are supposed to be European, sometimes to the point of complaining about the book being Eurocentric, and completely miss all the hints that they are more like the Ottomans.

Heh, the messiah myth had been planted into the desert dwellers ages ago by the bene geserite (Catholic matriarchy) as preparation for the arrival of the final product of their long running eugenics program going on behind the scenes of manipulating and controlling the ruling classes. The Ix-ians were the Muslim patriarchy keeping themselves hidden while holding their original faith hiding their women away because they'd been turned into wombs for churning out gholas and such. I think they even changed their appearance to look bit vampirish to keep the rest of the galaxy from learning their secret.... still faithful to the old ways.

Who the hell knows. Herbert's books went all over the place theme-wise.

I would like to see something go all the way through God Emporer and Chapter House. I'm a sucker for those *long* timelines.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:16 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Do not get too close--as the film approaches, the grar will engulf you. Wait until the third trailer passes and watch it, quickly.

MMmMMMMM SHAI HULUD
posted by eustatic at 8:19 PM on April 13 [6 favorites]


every casting choice for this film delights me except for the mayo atrocity playing paul. what an ordeal.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:40 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


No Fenring or Margot, AGAIN.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:08 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I’d love to see the same cast, cinematographer and production design in the hands of a decent script writer and producer.

The thing is, in most universes movie fans tell each other, “You know, in the eighties DAVID LYNCH almost directed an adaptation of Dune? Can you imagine how amazing that would have been?”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:42 PM on April 13 [8 favorites]


you know Destroyer sucked

[Unbuttons overshirt exposing T-shirt that says]

LYNCH'S DUNE
IS PRETTY
ALRIGHT

[Removes overshirt, turns]

AND
CONAN THE
DESTROYER
GOT A BAD
RAP
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:09 PM on April 13 [7 favorites]


[cranks the machine, out pops a card]

Paul Rudd as Paul Muad'dib
Seth Rogen as Baron Harkonnen
Steve Carell as Duke Leto
Will Ferrell as Beast Rabban
Jonah Hill as Stilgar
Amy Schumer as Chani
Kristen Wiig as Lady Jessica
Russell Brand (voice and CGI body motion capture) as Shai Hulud

Directed by James Franco, produced Judd Apatow
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:07 PM on April 13 [17 favorites]


I would like to see something go all the way through God Emporer and Chapter House.

As long as we stop before Frank Herbert's neighbors make a cameo as the gods/creators of the universe...

I mean, at least, I think that's what happened, right?
posted by Ghidorah at 11:09 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


It still blows my mind that Dune, a story about an indigenous Muslim population well versed in guerrilla warfare that fights a vastly more powerful imperialist force intent on controlling a natural resource that makes travel across vast distances (among other things) possible, was published in 1965.

blows your mind because frank herbert was so close on the heels of David Lean's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or
posted by queenofbithynia at 12:14 AM on April 14 [6 favorites]


> I'd much rather see an adaptation of work by Ann Leckie or NK Jemisin

Come for the scheming clones, colonial oppression & distributed-ai-zombie squads, stay for the tea, singing and fishes
posted by are-coral-made at 1:48 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


I've had a perverse fascination with Lynch's take on Dune since I first saw it. A sort of love/hate reaction to it that makes it hard to set aside. It's clearly first and foremost a Lynch work and only more distantly about Herbert's book, via Lynch's own recurrent themes of psycho-sexual quasi-Freudian mythology or metaphor.

The movie basically posits the idea of Paul Atreides becoming the Kwisatz Haderach by usurping the power of the Bene Gesserits and becoming the ultimate wellspring of fecundity, a man either replacing the role of the women or by obtaining an ambiguous state of male-female totality and overcoming the decadent stasis of the empire.

This set of concerns is at the heart of much of Lynch's filmography, a deep sense of unease that can read as gynophobia/homophobia or just genophobia (the fear of sex more generally). In Eraserhead its entirely baked in to the monstrous birth and imagery surrounding childbearing, in the Elephant Man with the "curse" of the mother being "threatened" by an elephant leading to Merrick's deformity, in Blue Velvet with the play on motherhood and desire especially in the scene where the naked Dorothy confronts Jeffery outside his home, in Wild at Heart in the homophobic comments and, again, overpowering and horrifying mother, in Twin Peaks and others in the mix of twisted and damaged sexuality. Dune isn't really subtle about this and the changes Lynch made to the story emphasize this kind of mythological structure.

Paul's attachment to his father, his death, and the attempts by the Bene Gesserits to control the family and the choice of having a female child drive the early part of the movie up until Paul receives his test from the Reverend Mother, the Gom Jabbar, where Paul has to insert his hand into the Reverend Mother's box which she has on her lap and keep it in there by overcoming fear of it being eaten away. That's about as blatant an example of castration anxiety as one could show in a Hollywood movie. After overcoming this test Paul becomes increasingly drawn to the Fremen, who can control the sandworms of Arrakis and have access to the Water of Life, which no male child has survived being immersed in.

Surviving the Water of Life essentially makes Paul fertile but beyond that of simple motherhood, in giving birth to a child, but the ability to give life to an entire planet. The Sandworms themselves take on the form of both a phallic and yonic symbol, the worm part obviously phallic while the mouths echo the vagina dentata of the gom jabbar. Paul being able to control the worms, "wormsign the likes of which even god has never seen", gives evidence to the power of transcending the male/female divide and gaining fecundity.

This is matched by Paul's ability to gain "the voice", the mystical power of the Bene Gesserits' to control men's will through speaking, Paul not only betters the women in this ability, his name itself becomes a killing word when speech becomes weaponized. The opposition of House Harkonnen suggests the corrupted alternative to Paul's transcendence, where their sexuality is "twisted" by homosexual desires as decadent physical echo of the kind of masculine/feminine power Paul achieves by going beyond the physical. Alia, the fremen, and the rain at the end of the movie all signalling a new kind of order for the world that is free of the forms of the past.

As this relates to Herbert, it seems Lynch is relying on an idea of civilization and its challenges that is given an excellent analysis on the previously linked blog, A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry. Even if you dismiss everything I've said, the long multi-part essay there on The Fremen Mirage is well worth reading for how it takes apart a very common trope about how settled civilizations are inherently corrupt and "barbarians" are both tougher and more morally pure, leading to the downfall of the civilizations when they are challenged.

Lynch being Lynch it isn't entirely clear as to where the themes in his works are his beliefs and where they are comment on society as opacity is kinda Lynch's calling card, but the notions of decadence/corruption and transcendence in various guises reappear throughout his works, so these are important themes to him and perhaps no where more clearly laid out than in Dune for it taking on a more basic mythological structure.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:17 AM on April 14 [8 favorites]


The Ix-ians were the Muslim patriarchy keeping themselves hidden while holding their original faith hiding their women away because they'd been turned into wombs for churning out gholas and such.

Confusing Ix and the Bene Tleilax is no way to go through life, son.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:16 AM on April 14 [17 favorites]




The Atreides men seem to be wearing armour, I wonder if they're omitting the idea of shields.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:14 AM on April 14


Okay maybe I take part of it back. Seeing Momoa clean shaven sort of threw me for a loop, and seeing him in a white shirt with the sleeves stained with the blood of clearly a lot of people he’s just killed, because Duncan Idaho, I think I can but into the casting.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:34 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Dave Bautista as Rabban may have been a bad choice. I don't know if I'm capable of hating a character he plays.
posted by cmfletcher at 5:43 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


Momoa made a canny choice in agreeing to play Duncan Idaho. He's the only character in all the books (except the second?) even though he dies a third of the way through the first one.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:47 AM on April 14 [5 favorites]


I've had a perverse fascination with Lynch's take on Dune since I first saw it. A sort of love/hate reaction to it that makes it hard to set aside. It's clearly first and foremost a Lynch work and only more distantly about Herbert's book, via Lynch's own recurrent themes of psycho-sexual quasi-Freudian mythology or metaphor.

It's definitely a Lynch work, but most of these themes (which I agree about) are in the book as well, aren't they? Some of them come through even more strongly in the later books, e.g.:

gynophobia/homophobia or just genophobia (the fear of sex more generally)

...is a big part of God Emperor and an even bigger part of whichever book the Honoured Matres turn up in (Heretics, I think).

The Atreides men seem to be wearing armour, I wonder if they're omitting the idea of shields.

This will be interesting to watch. Wearing armour is one of the only ways Dune's knife-based space armies could make even less sense.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:50 AM on April 14


It's definitely a Lynch work, but most of these themes (which I agree about) are in the book as well, aren't they?

I've only read Dune a long time ago, not any of the sequels, and if memory serves Lynch made explicit some of the underlying ideology and then added some elements of his own, particularly regarding the wierding modules and tied that in to his take on the mythos.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:58 AM on April 14


My current theory is the armour itself is what's projecting the forcefields, like the fields extend a few millimetres out of them. So maybe the "armour" is actually quite weak, physically, but when energised is more powerful ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by adrianhon at 5:59 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


> Dune cast - pics

Hahaha - "5000 CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF JASON MOMOA"
posted by needled at 6:24 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


I'm not loving this stillsuit design - it doesn't even cover the mouth! But I guess I can make allowances for actors wanting to act.

I'm sooooooooo tired of texts with one woman to every five men. Dune was written in the dark ages, but there's no excuse not to recast now, it's fucking ridiculous.

I agree. For what it's worth, Villeneuve has recast at least one character as a woman (albeit a pretty minor character, Liet Kines).
posted by whir at 6:36 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Lynch's Dune is all about mood

God dammit, moods are a thing for cattle and loveplay.
posted by COBRA! at 6:40 AM on April 14 [18 favorites]


This reminds me, I've only read Dune 10 or 11 times., and not at all for the past 5 years or so.
Need to get back in shape.
posted by signal at 7:05 AM on April 14 [5 favorites]


Lynch's own recurrent themes of psycho-sexual quasi-Freudian mythology or metaphor.

Rudy Wurlitzer wrote a few drafts (during Ridley Scott's attempt) that reportedly featured an explicitly incestuous relationship between Paul and Jessica. He said that his contribution was not well-received.

Quoting Harlan Ellison, "Have you ever seen Frank Herbert bellow with rage?"
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 7:06 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


Rudy Wurlitzer wrote a few drafts (during Ridley Scott's attempt) that reportedly featured an explicitly incestuous relationship between Paul and Jessica. He said that his contribution was not well-received.

Heh. Rudy Wurlitzer knew his way around a screenplay. I'd much rather see his version of Dune than Jodorowsky's myself.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:13 AM on April 14


I'm tentatively excited. I think Arrival was a fantastic movie so maybe Villeneuve will do good. I'm less worried about it being ~true to the book or whatever, than I am with letting all of Herbert's gross misogyny going unchecked, spoiling it for me and all the other women in the room
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:38 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Arrival isn't just a fantastic movie, it's a fantastic adaptation of a short story that I'd have thought very hard to adapt.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:55 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


TBH when they announced they were making Arrival, it struck me as a fool's errand. I loved the original short story and turning that into a movie, let alone a great movie, wasn't just a hard job, but the highest difficulty level possible, at least in terms of sci-fi adaptations. So I am cautiously optimistic for Dune, if only because I think the source material is better than the frankly dubious idea of a Blade Runner sequel.
posted by adrianhon at 8:04 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


This story is too long to be a movie; it deserves to be a prestige TV show.
posted by el io at 8:22 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


I read Dune decades ago but I was more a fan of the world building than of the story itself (I read a couple of the sequels and quit; someone wrote once that the series was turning into "The Smurfs of Dune"). I'm not sad that Jodorowsky's version was not made because it was just too ambitious for the time, and, to be frank, for Jodorowsky's filmmaking abilities. The 1975 project features some of the most beautiful sci-fi concept art ever done for a movie, particularly by Chris Foss (e.g. the pirate ship and the spice container). There's absolutely no way that the SFX available at the time would have done this justice (we had to wait 2014 to watch Foss ships on screen, in the Guardians of the Galaxy). Jodo is too creative/crazy for movies, comics (L'Incal !) are a more natural media for him.
The Lynch version was interesting in its own right, but, as gusottertrout says above, it was primarily a Lynch film with some Dune stuff happening, so I enjoyed it as a Lynch film, less so as a Dune film. Also, hero-mode Kyle McLachlan was horribly miscast and the movie almost killed his career until Lynch resurrected in Blue Velvet it by creating the bizarro-mode McLachlan that we all love. I've not seen the TV series (it looks very cheap).
I'm quite optimistic for the new version. Villeneuve has a fantastic record when it comes to sci-fi and Chalamet has been great in everything he's done so far, with a range that poor Kyle did not have in 1984.
posted by elgilito at 8:27 AM on April 14


it deserves to be a prestige TV show.

A mini-series, one might say. In fairness, I generally liked the John Harrison-directed miniseries. The story was well-told, despite obvious shortcomings in production design and SFX (and the atrocious costuming! What were they thinking?!?)
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 8:35 AM on April 14


We are running out of time to let John Waters take his turn at the helm.

No one is filthier than Muad’Dib!
posted by Going To Maine at 8:49 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


The pictures from the Vanity Fair article are so disappointing. When did the future get so boring? It's the same modernist, brutalist, "tactical" future we see everywhere. I fell in love with Lynch's version because it looked gloriously weird, like it really could be from 10,000 years in the future. Reverse mohawks and art deco spaceships! Or take Jodo's radically psychedelic version, colors and strange shapes everywhere! You could get Freddy Mamani to make the set design. But this? It looks just like the present, conventional and dissapointing. What happened to imagination?
posted by Tom-B at 9:08 AM on April 14 [6 favorites]


I mean, did you ever see Blade Runner?

Blade Runner is a neo-noir film, which means that it was dark, but it was also high contrast, with highly-saturated colors—especially neon lights—punching through the darkness.

Blade Runner 2049 is desaturated and low-contrast, and boring and dank.

A recent film that has a classic neo-noir look, that was made specifically to look like Blade Runner, is Detective Pikachu.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:15 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


I'm not loving this stillsuit design - it doesn't even cover the mouth! But I guess I can make allowances for actors wanting to act.

The Stillsuits look like a type of urban warrior motorcycle gear that was fashionable about 10 years ago.
All the futuro-wear in The Expanse is just current motorcycle gear too. Can’t help but notice these things.
posted by rodlymight at 9:52 AM on April 14


Seth Rogen as Baron Harkonnen

Surely Patton Oswalt.
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:30 AM on April 14


Surely Patton Oswalt.

Or noseless Artie Lange.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 10:38 AM on April 14


We are running out of time to let John Waters take his turn at the helm.

No one is filthier than Muad’Dib!


He does drink his own pee.

I'm really excited about this film but I do think it would be much better to reboot Dune as a high-budget TV series. If we could get Game of Thrones production values but with better writing (and the advantage that the novels are finished already and the writer is dead!).

Would absolutely love to see the Muad'Dib heel turn into galactic genocide from the sequels
posted by dis_integration at 10:39 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


This imgur gallery is great - I didn't know that Isaac was in this one, but the look he is giving the photographer in the first picture is priceless.
posted by soelo at 10:51 AM on April 14


Directed by James Franco, produced Judd Apatow

Jane Lynch as Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother
Gerry Bednob as Gurney Halleck
Dr. Ken Jeong as Dr. Wellington Yueh
posted by Apocryphon at 10:53 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Really fucking disappointed at everybody's water discipline in that new gallery.
posted by The Tensor at 11:20 AM on April 14 [7 favorites]


Wow, Antihero, thanks for the Blade Runner Detective Pikachu 2049 mental image, and of course that's a thing. Might have made a better movie...
posted by anthill at 12:47 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


I'm not wild about how Bardem looks as Stilgar but I 'm pretty sure the movie will be good. I've been following the news of it for about a year so far.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:00 PM on April 14


Also must point out that the Stillsuit design from Lynch's version was perfect and these look inferior.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:27 PM on April 14 [10 favorites]


Those pictures look dull as helllll. Oh well, at least I can be sure the writer of Prometheus and Passengers turned in a great script.
posted by fleacircus at 2:26 PM on April 14


I’m just excited for all the man babies to start screaming about the lady Liet-Kynes who isn’t even white. It’s going to be delicious.

(I actually already saw some on Reddit; one dude thought he had a slam dunk argument with “well, who is gonna be Chani’s father now, eh?” — as though there were no such thing as female parents.)
posted by uberchet at 7:22 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


Dune and Bladerunner are two of my all time favorite movies ever. I recently rewatched 2049 for the first time since the theater release. And I’ve also recently watched Dune and Bladerunner. I was struck by how Dune-esque 2049 was... the scenery inside the giant office compound is reminiscent of the interior of the Atreides compound on their home world.

There’s a lot of other visual and atmospheric similarities so I’m super excited for this remake.

(I’ve read Dune a few times and hate read the rest. They’re all pretty bad except the House books which are immediate prequels. They’re not masterpieces but provide a lot of backstory for the main characters and plot of Dune. They’re also fairly short and easy to read unlike almost every other Dune book.)
posted by affectionateborg at 6:36 AM on April 15


I’ve read Dune a few times and hate read the rest. They’re all pretty bad except the House books which are immediate prequels.

So, either we agree to disagree, or it's pistols at dawn. Your pick.
posted by signal at 7:38 AM on April 15 [6 favorites]


Oh boy, new Dune film! I'm excited to see what they do with--

the writer of Prometheus and Passengers

...oh.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:45 AM on April 15 [9 favorites]


All I keep seeing are Courser uniforms.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:18 AM on April 15


SoberHighland:

I've tried to read Dune twice. The world building and lore is unparalleled. The concepts are lasting, memorable and influential. But the writing? Meh. For example, I remember re-reading paragraphs and even pages because it was unclear who was speaking during dialog scenes. I mean this from a basic, nuts and bolts, technical standpoint: the writing is poor.

I tried about a half dozen times when I was 11-13 or so, and I don't think I made it past the second chapter. At some point, I saw the Lynch movie and then around 20 yo or so, was able to breeze through the book. Really, if you watch Lynch's movie, you can probably bypass Dune and go directly to Dune: Messiah and Children of Dune and have a hugely satisfying experience.

It's been at least a decade since I have read the full run of Frank's original novels. Slog through the first. Be awed by where two and three take you. 5 and 6 may or may not be one's jam.

To go straight to your point, I think I mostly agree. Dune is a tough read, because he's not only world building, but he is character building for future novels.

affectionateborg:

(I’ve read Dune a few times and hate read the rest. They’re all pretty bad except the House books which are immediate prequels. They’re not masterpieces but provide a lot of backstory for the main characters and plot of Dune. They’re also fairly short and easy to read unlike almost every other Dune book.)

I will humbly disagree that the source material is worse than prequels written after the primary author's death by an author (Kevin J. Anderson) who many consider a below average author and the son of the author who may or may not have just slapped his name on to sell the books as "better". Different? Yes. Appealing to a different fan base, while still keeping some of the original fanbase? Yes.

For me, Dune ends after Chapterhouse, and maybe even after Heretics.

If Villeneuve ends part one relatively close to where I think he will, I am excited about a "franchise". Dune: Messiah would be amazing. Children would be a nice conclusion. But, if memory serves, I really want to see God Emporer.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:01 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Oh boy, new Dune film! I'm excited to see what they do with--

the writer of Prometheus and Passengers

...oh.


Yeeeeaaah. That is concerning. Prometheus was possibly the worst written movie I've ever seen.
posted by fshgrl at 12:54 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Oh, I've definitely seen worse. I'm hopeful. And the issues of Prometheus might be avoided in a situation where they're adapting a previously known work and not going out on their own.

I read Dune a couple times as a teen -- I wore out the movie-tie-in edition -- but I when I tried to go further back then I was immediately annoyed by the offhand way Paul just exits the narrative, so I never got super far into Dune Messiah at all.

Then a couple years ago, the Folio Society hit me right where I live with a beautiful slipcovered edition of the first book, and since I hadn't read it since the 80s I bought it and really loved it. So obviously I parlayed that momentum into reading as many sequels as I could tolerate.

That ended up being Messiah, Children, and God Emperor. It's sort of a Zeno's Paradox situation, where each sequel is half as good as the one that came before it. Part of my SF taste really loves the implication of really, really long time spans, but Leto II nearly killed the enjoyment of that whole idea.
posted by uberchet at 6:53 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Can we have a FPP dedicated exclusively to Oscar Isaac's promo photos for Dune

Because I think we deserve that kind of quality content right now
posted by Kitchen Witch at 7:04 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Maximum Derek!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:28 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]




I mean I'm not sure he was very interested in Dune even when he was making it. Shouting guns?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:38 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


« Older An Aurora, Sharpened in the Key of C   |   △ O X ▢ Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments