Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the classic science fiction novel “Dune” by Frank Herbert is almost here. The highly anticipated film will be released in theaters and on HBO MAX in the U.S on Oct. 22, 2021. The 1965 novel is about a royal family trying to preserve their power while moving to a dangerous sand-filled planet called Arrakis. It has been adapted into a movie and a TV series before, but Villeneuve’s version could be the best one yet. It is part one of a potential franchise that the filmmaker envisions, and will cover roughly the first half of Herbert’s book.
Villeneuve has one of the strongest track records in contemporary cinema. The Canadian director released two of the best movies of the last decade, with 2016’s “Arrival” and 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049”. Both were masterworks of emotionally intelligent science fiction that heavily featured the sumptuous cinematography and detailed world-building that he has become known for. “Dune” debuted at the Venice Film Festival in early September to an eight-minute standing ovation. It received a warm reception from critics that applauded the ambition and scope of the epic.
Villeneuve’s latest features one of the strongest ensembles in recent memory and is one of the many reasons to be excited about the picture. The protagonist, Paul Atreides, is portrayed by Timothée Chalamet, one of the youngest best-actor Oscar nominees ever. The native New Yorker and noted sci-fi fan has been in numerous acclaimed films such as “Lady Bird,” “Call Me By Your Name,” “Little Women” and “Interstellar.” Chalamet is one of the leaders of a new generation of stars and was a natural choice to play the youthful Paul. The consistently great Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson have major roles, as well. The strong list of supporting actors is rounded out by rising superstar Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgard, and Dave Bautista.
Besides the extremely high-profile cast, arguably the biggest talking point around the release is how it will fare at the box office. It has a reported $165 million budget, and its success will largely determine if part two gets made. As it stands, things are looking promising for the movie that covers the second half of the novel. According to Deadline, “Dune” has grossed $100 million at the international box office as of October third. That number will undoubtedly continue to climb given that there are still a handful of countries that “Dune” has yet to be released in, including the United States.
In regards to a second film, Villeneuve seems hopeful that the studio will allow the project to happen. According to IGN, in an interview the director said, “But if ever there’s enthusiasm and the movie is greenlit sooner than later, I will say that I will be ready to shoot in 2022 for sure.” Also, when speaking with Total Film Magazine, he revealed that he is currently working on the follow up to part one saying, “I’m writing [Part Two] now, and I feel like I am eight years old again.” “Dune” will almost undoubtedly be one of the biggest films of the fall and an exquisite in-theater experience.