While we wait (im)patiently for the release of Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction epic, Dune, Warner Bros. Has released a featurette which helps to provide some background to the complexities of this world. Titled The Royal Houses, the clip brings with it a batch of new footage from the highly anticipated movie, as well as interviews with several members of Dune’s stacked cast.
Based on Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 novel of the same, the distant future of Dune is a complicated one, in which an empire controls, well, pretty much everything, and delegates to a host of trusted noble houses. One such house is House Atreides, who are given rule over the desert planet Arrakis and the precious spice which dwells within it. The featurette does well at offering some background details regarding the inner workings of the sci-fi universe, with several glimpses of new footage sure to have fans even more excited than they already are.
Following a series of delays, Dune finally premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 3 to much critical praise. While the response from a handful of critics has been mixed, the general consensus as per Rotten Tomatoes reads; “Dune occasionally struggles with its unwieldy source material, but those issues are largely overshadowed by the scope and ambition of this visually thrilling adaptation.” The movie is currently sat at a ripe 87%.
Dune will hurl audiences into the far future of humanity, as Duke Leto Atreides accepts stewardship of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, “the spice”, a drug which extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought, and makes faster-than-light travel practical. Though Leto knows the opportunity is an intricate trap set by his enemies, he takes his Bene Gesserit concubine Lady Jessica, young son and heir Paul, and most trusted advisers to Arrakis. Leto takes control of the spice mining operation, which is made perilous by the presence of giant sandworms.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve with a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Villeneuve, and Eric Roth, Dune is led by Timothée Chalamet, with the supporting cast consisting of Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.
The movie will tell the first half of the novel, with director Denis Villeneuve confident that Dune 2 will be ready to go as soon as it gets the greenlight. “I would say that I would be fairly ready to go quite quickly now,” the filmmaker said. “Quickly in [terms of] a movie of that size. You still need to make sets and costumes, we are talking about months….But if there’s enthusiasm and the movie is greenlit, sooner than later I will say that I will be ready to shoot 2022 for sure…I am ready to go and I would say that I would love to bring it to the screen as soon as possible.”
Dune is scheduled to be released theatrically in the United States in 3D on October 22, 2021 by Warner Bros. Pictures with a simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service for 31 days.