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Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atriedes in Denis Villeneuve's upcoming adaptation of Dune.

Warner Bros. debuted the first trailer today for Dune, director Denis Villeneuve's ambitious (could it be anything else?) adaptation of Frank Herbert's sprawling epic novel. It was preceded by a livestreamed event in which Late Show host Stephen Colbert interviewed Villeneuve and several cast members: Timothée Chalamet (who stars as Paul Atreides), Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Jason Momoa, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster.

Dune is set in the distant future and follows the fortunes of various noble houses in what amounts to a feudal interstellar society. Much of the action takes place on the planet Arrakis, where the economy is driven largely by a rare life-extending drug called melange ("the spice") that also conveys a kind of prescience. There's faster-than-light space travel, a prophecy concerning a messianic figure, giant sandworms, and lots of battles, as protagonist Paul Atreides (a duke's son) contends with rival House Harkonnen and strives to defeat the forces of Shaddam IV, Emperor of the Known Universe.

That brief synopsis hardly does justice to the sweep and enormous cultural influence of Herbert's novel. When it was first published, the Chicago Tribune called it "one of the monuments of modern science fiction." Astronomers have used the names of fictional planets in Dune to identify various topographical features on Saturn's moon Titan. Herbert wrote five sequels, and the franchise also includes board games, computer games, and numerous prequels and sequels written by his son, Brian Herbert, with Kevin J. Anderson.

Earlier this year, Vanity Fair gave us our first look at the film, including several photos of some of the main characters. Dune is notoriously difficult to adapt—as David Lynch discovered when he directed his critically panned 1984 film adaptation—but Villeneuve found the trick was to split the novel in half. This first film will cover events in the first half of the novel, with a second installment planned to cover events in the second half.

"I would not agree to make this film adaptation of the book with one single movie," Villeneuve told Vanity Fair. "The world is too complex. It's a world that takes its power in details."

  • Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, the scion of House Atreides. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Paul has been having seemingly prophetic dreams. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Some Ars staffers didn't care for the reverend mother's veil. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • A mysterious box holds pain. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Remove your hand from the box and you die. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Paul realizes there is a plot to wipe out his entire family. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Oscar Isaac plays Duke Leto Atreides, Paul's father, a nobleman newly bestowed with the stewardship of the dangerous planet Arrakis. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Rebecca Ferguson plays Lady Jessica, Paul's Bene Gesserit mother and concubine to Duke Leto. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, the swordmaster of House Atreides and one of Paul's mentors. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, the brutish nephew of Baron Harkonnen. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Zendaya as Chani, a mysterious young Fremen woman. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • "There's a crusade coming." YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Something important is being swallowed up in the sand. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Paul must let it go. YouTube/Warner Bros.
  • Check out the gigantic sandworm. YouTube/Warner Bros. Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew]

    arstechnica

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