Countdown to Dune

No, you won’t be seeing this in it.

A countdown to Dune. Well, why not? Lets have a series of posts to chart the countdown for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune to its release. It’ll be rather like my posts regards Blade Runner 2, and that ended well. So here’s hoping lightning strikes twice and we get a great movie. Or two great movies, anyway, as recent reports have it that Villeneuve intends to make Dune in two parts. Alas, there isn’t the funds to make both films at the same time, so he’ll have to make the first, hope it does well, and then get to shoot the second. Considering how fickle audiences are, that is possibly a braver move then going for it and making two films together, but we’ll just have to hope for the best.

So, anyway, what do we know? Well, its being directed by Denis Villeneuve, one of the hottest directors at work today who pulled of the impossible by making a great Blade Runner sequel. Which rather makes him an ideal choice for making Dune, the book of which is still considered unfilmable by many. Many film-makers have tried, and many have failed. I think we’ll get into that in a later post.

Anyway, its two movies, and word has it that Legendary Entertainment want the first movie out in 2020. Which seems ambitious to me*, but news that production is currently intended to commence next February, and that Villeneuve intends to shoot the film at  Orgio Film Studios in Budapest, Hungary, where he shot Blade Runner 2049, certainly bodes well regards quality and infers that 2020 is indeed a target. Casting has started; Timothée Chalamet is in talks to star as Paul Atreides- not an actor I know, but from images he looks right for the role, certainly young enough-looking. So yes, things are moving along and it does seem that the screenplay is pretty much ironed out and things moving forward.

Must confess, this film/s is probably my most anticipated film now. Dune is one of my favourite books and this project has me scared/excited in equal measure. I am confident that Villeneuve can manage something quite extraordinary and only hope he is given the freedom to work his magic. The news its being spread across two movies (its a big, dense book) is great news and certainly a step in the right direction.

I can hardly wait.

*I know, I’m likely betraying my age here, but I remember back when big sci-fi movies took several years to make; Star Wars movies used to take three years back in my day. Production schedules and pipelines have changed a great deal, especially in this digital age with traditional post-production taking place during (or even before) main live-action shooting and how things have been sped up in general. But Dune by 2020? With us nearly in August 2018 already? Wow.

4 thoughts on “Countdown to Dune

  1. I’ve seen people saying “it makes sense to split Dune in two, and there’s a convenient place to do it too” and people saying “why are they splitting it in two, there’s nowhere convenient to do it”, which just reminds me I need to re-read/re-watch a version because I can’t remember the plot well enough! (I’ve had a fan edit of Lynch’s film sat on my hard drive for a couple of years too, so…)

    Anyway, massively excited for this, for all the obvious reasons. The fact they’re not shooting both parts back to back is a concern though. Pessimistic I know, but I won’t be that surprised if we only end up getting the first half.

    1. EditMSM

      A far as I can remember, the first half of the novel is mainly interiors, as Paul eaves Caladan and arrives on Arrakis and everything builds up to the Harkonnen attack. So you could shoot all that on sets in Hungary.

      And the second half is Paul with the Fremen, so that would mostly be locations and exteriors.

    2. Yeah its my biggest worry, that we’ll only get the first film and that it’ll always be one of those “if only…” projects where we’ll always wonder what the whole would have been like across two films. I suppose the worst we can hope for is that they somehow frame it/close the first film as if it tells some kind of story by itself. Although I don’t see how it will feel satisfying as the most obvious place to end the first film shows that all the bastards win and leaves the second films vengeance and valediction unrealized. Its a tricky one.

  2. Pingback: Countdown to Dune continues – the ghost of 82

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