The latest Dune trailer proves that if Denis Villeneuve’s blockbuster isn’t your most anticipated film of 2021, it should be! Warner Bros. unveiled the final Dune trailer to press Monday at a special buzz-building event. The screening debuted the trailer in IMAX along with never-before-seen footage to celebrate a return to big screen moviegoing. It was awesome.
It offers the fullest glimpse yet at the film. Villeneuve’s adaptation of the beloved Frank Herbert novel could be the movie that fans have long awaited. Often listed among the most “unfilmable” novels, Dune’s complexity and scope has eluded other filmmakers. However, the new Dune footage shows Villeneuve’s impeccable hand at world building and deep appreciation for the novel. With outstanding visual imagination and a bombastic Hans Zimmer score that shook the floor, the sneak peek at Dune was as much a reminder about the value of the theatrical experience as it was a hint at the movie event of the year. This kind of big screen entertainment is the spice of life.
The Final Dune Trailer and First 10 Minutes
The screening included the first ten minutes of Dune along with some behind the scenes sizzles and a clip selected by Villeneuve himself. The director presented the “spice harvest” sequence that is the centrepiece of Herbert’s novel. It’s surely the most epic work that Villeneuve has ever filmed. The opening sequence for Dune showcases a richly imaginative interpretation of Herbert’s book. The introductory sequence offered some variation both from the novel and from previous adaptations with Zendaya’s Chani narrating the early scenes. Moreover, the Dune trailer and footage offered glimpses of innovative costumes by Jacqueline West and ambitious production design by Canuck Patrice Vermette. Villeneuve’s Dune promises a visionary look at the future.
The first moments see the House of Atreides assume responsibility for the planet Arrakis. The younger Paul, played by Timothée Chalamet, undergoes his own graduation of sorts as his family’s status changes. The early footage shows Paul demonstrate his grasp of “the voice” to his mother, Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). Notably impressive sound design makes “the voice” an imaginative improvement than the likes that audiences have heard in previous Dunes. Chalamet looks to have a grasp of Paul’s interior struggle, but also the chops to make a respectable action star. In terms of other performers, the footage hints at a playfully commanding turn from Oscar Isaac as Duke Leo Atreides and Josh Brolin seemed the perfect choice for Paul’s mentor, Gurney Halleck. Overall, though, the casting seems quite inspired.
Scope and Score
The visual effects, moreover, offer just what audiences have missed since Hollywood closed the blockbuster pipeline in 2020. Visually, Dune looks to capture the grandeur of the book, especially in the riveting harvest scene. The sequence sees Paul encounter a deadly worm while on an expedition with the Duke, Gurney, and field guide Liet-Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster). This sequence from the Dune presser offered the most reason for excitement. Simply put, the advances in technology haven’t allowed filmmakers to realize this scene so spectacularly. Anyone else with sights on a Best Visual Effects Oscar should probably just suspend their campaign now. Moreover, Villeneuve’s confidence with his actors and the material suggests the engaging character-driven odyssey that Dune should be.
The sneak peek at Dune also highlighted what sounds like another brilliantly bonkers score by composer Hans Zimmer. Even in the EPK-style footage woven throughout the event, Zimmer’s music makes the world of Dune click. The event featured a conversation between Villeneuve and Zimmer highlighting how they found a new musical language while working remotely. As propulsive as his score for Inception, but as creative as his work on The Lion King, Zimmer’s Dune score features human voices and invented sounds to immerse audiences in the world of Arrakis. The vocals also draw upon the women of Dune to accentuate the presence of Zendaya, Ferguson, and other performers.
While one can only glean so much from 20-ish minutes of footage, what I saw of Dune was very exciting stuff. Dune has its world IMAX premiere at Ontario Place’s Cinesphere during TIFF in September ahead of its Oct. 22 premiere. Trust me—you’ll want to see this one in the biggest and loudest theatre you can find.
The final Dune trailer will be out soon. Dune opens Oct. 22.
In the meantime, here is the previous trailer while you await the new one!