I wasn’t going to type up any kind of article on the latest Dune trailer, but four days on from its momentous release, on a quiet Sunday night I find my mind flitting to all 185 seconds of its sandy glory. Maybe it was Oscar Isaac in all his chiselled perfection. Perhaps Denis Villeneuve’s name back on a movie trailer is what got me hooked. Or maybe it was just the worms. THE WORMS!!!
All joking aside, it was utterly refreshing to get that cinematic buzz that has been depressingly absent over the last six months. The sheer anticipation that was doused for films like Tenet, is in full form in the Dune trailer. If anyone is here to truly jump start cinema (at least from a film buff’s perspective) it’s Denis Villeneuve.
Coming off a five-film hot streak (sorry, I haven’t seen any of his films pre-2013, so for me it remains at five), Villeneuve seems like the perfect director to adapt the unadaptable. Frank Herbert’s Dune has conquered Lynch and slipped the grasp of Jodorowsky, and for that reason I have reserved my exposure of Dune’s media adaptations to Villeneuve’s. But my ongoing reading of the book has simultaneously amplified my anticipation and skepticism of any adaptation. With a heavily descriptive style of writing, Herbert’s book is so rich with details, lore, and setting you can practically feel yourself squirming around in your Stillsuit. Regardless of how you approach it, Dune is destined to be a dense film and, in many ways, feel similar in the blockbuster sense to Blade Runner 2049 – although with slightly more action.
So, a lot of babbling and not a lot of trailer talk. I can already see myself stooped in a darkened cinema, prepare to fully immerse myself in this film. From the moisture dripping planes of Caladan to the over-saturated golden bloom of the endless sands of Arrakis, Dune feels big, epic, and just like the kind of film to set a date on your calendar for.
The sense of scale in its earlier half is upped and upped by a cast line up that is practically showing off. Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin. It is almost exhausting to see this amount of star power packed within a single film, but with huge characters such as Lady Jessica, Duke Leto, Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck, Villeneuve made sure to bring the big guns.
But once those pretty faces have been shown off, Dune is committed to convincing you it has the ammunition to go with those guns. With Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon blaring to the sight of Ornithopters, Harkonnen soldiers, and those shimmering shields, the pace is ramped up, and be sure to know I’ve gotten goosebumps every time I’ve watched that carnage unfold – which has been a fair few times to say the least.
Then came what we’ve all been waiting for, and something I honestly didn’t expect to see in its first trailer. The shudder of the sand, the shock wave of its uprising, the mighty sandworm heaves its way through the desert chasing down young Paul Atreides, before leaving us with that final haunting shot.
While the sighting of the sandworm was that final cherry on top for an already epically brilliant trailer, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment that I would no longer get the awe-inspiring reveal in the theatre. But understandably, with a film steeped in the cultures of the Fremen, Bene Gesserit, and spice trade of Arrakis, you won’t get bums on seats with the politics. Sometimes you just need to show off a big ass sandworm.
This is the big kind of film I have been desperately missing over the loveliest of 2020s, and that opportunity of sheer escapism feels needed, as much as it is wanted. I believe that is why I have been so enamoured by Dune’s trailer, and while at time of writing, Dune has yet to be delayed, I am truly excited to go back to the cinema for the first time in a long while and I eagerly have my fingers crossed for that December release. The pangs of anticipation and excitement are things that must be strategically managed, yet any fear should be cast aside in the case of Dune, for one of the best minds in Hollywood is at the helm… oh, and fear is the mind killer.