Dune (2020)

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  • May 4, 2009
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    My wife has been crushing on Timothee Chalamet for awhile now, has zero interest in dune and the otherday was like omg there’s a dune movie coming out! I asked her if Timothee Chalamet was in it, suspicion confirmed. 🙄
     
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    Dogtown

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    I've been a big fan of the first novel since I was a kid, but was a little apprehensive about trying to make a single movie again (see Lynch's 1984 version) because if HBO has taught us anything in the past ten years it's that seasons of high quality TV tend to do adaptations of novels more concisely than films. It turns out Villeneuve got the studio to agree to a two-film version, which makes a lot of sense because there's a perfect split that happens in the novel.

    There's a lot in this teaser that gives me hope that it will be more faithful to the novel.
     

    Son of Dorn

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    I honestly really like Lynch's version. It had capable acting, the crazy almost-Warhammer 40K space-baroque set design looked pretty nice IMO, and the costuming wasn't bad at all. Yeah they made some changes and omissions, but I don't think it completely ruined the film. It's a difficult novel to adapt and I think Lynch did the best he could with it. I have the extended TV cut on my DVD copy and while it reuses footage several times over, it removes some of the overly weird stuff with the Baron and reinserts some stuff that was in the novel to begin with plus it has a longer more informative prologue that explains the setting a lot better than the theatrical version.

    I'm slightly apprehensive about this version, if I'm honest. I didn't really like the miniseries rendition the SciFi channel did a bunch of years back, but this one will hopefully be pretty good. Even if it doesn't have Sting in leather briefs.
     
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    Dogtown

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    The Lynch film really grew on me over time, but it never felt particularly faithful to the novel beyond the broad plot. The Weirding Way becomes a sonic weapon, Paul is a full grown man, etc. But as you said, it's a very difficult property to adapt - even just the first novel, not to say the strangeness that follows in the other books in the series.
     

    Frgood

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    I hope there is enough interest to continue the series. Maybe 9 movies for the first three books... In order.
     

    Dogtown

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    There was a spinoff series about the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood planned as a way of developing more of a foundation for the films, helping to flesh out that group's role in the entire arc of the saga. It was put back into development limbo along with a miniseries about the Bulterian Jihad. Bummer.
     

    BJG56

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    I read Dune back in 1970 when I was 14 yo. I was in awe of it. However, this movie is a hard pass for me. There are some books that lose too many of their subtleties when made into movies because how complex they are. Dune is one of them.
     

    Dogtown

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    That's definitely the case with the 1984 film, especially the way the studio forced it trimmed from 3+ hours down to 2 hours. So much gets lost or is confusing, especially to people unfamiliar with the source material. The modern series methodology is much better suited for material like Dune, which explains why they were planning to create a series about the Bene Gesserit. The way the Sisterhood plants the seeds of a messiah among the Fremen (and other groups) is central to the overarching plot of the entire saga, but can't easily be conveyed in one story line.

    The good news with this film though is that it's splitting the first book into two films which is aided by the clearly defined time gap between Paul and Jessica escaping into the desert, then jumping forward a few years after being amongst the Fremen. If you're going to tell the story of the first novel in movie form, you've got to break it into two 3 hour sections. But I totally agree that even that will be difficult all of the complexities of the story that would be much easier in a 10-hour episodic season.
     

    Sean the Nailer

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    I learned back in the 80's that there are two kinds of people in this world. Those that 'love' Dune, and those that don't have a single though towards it.

    I used to have a Brother-In-Law who would get totally 'zoned-in' with that movie and discussion thereof.
     
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    Dogtown

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    That's a tough call. I think if you know the basics of the first book, it'll make a lot more sense. This is especially true of the 1984 film, which is very difficult to follow if you go into it blind (the longer version is better, but still difficult). There are lots of videos on YouTube that explain the saga, and I would just avoid the stuff that happens in the follow-on books because it gets comparatively weird. However, if there's any modern director who can do the story justice, I think Denis V is it, so people going in blind may be ok?
     
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    Dogtown

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    I'll give you a non-plot spoiling primer of sorts for the first novel:

    Setting
    It's about 20,000 years in the future at the start of the story. Humanity has branched out into the galaxy and has evolved into a kind of feudal system with large nation states (planets) vying for power in one form or another. A brutal war was fought against machines designed to serve humanity, called the Butlerian Jihad, which has led to thinking machines being forbidden.

    The Great Houses
    The story revolves around a group of planets that are in a power struggle within the Landsraad (the feudal system). House Carino runs the show at this point, with the Padishah emperor being the seat of power. House Harkonnen is a very militant industrial power located on the planet Geidi Prime. The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen leads this house and is super manipulative and a smart kind of meglomaniac. House Atreides on the ocean planet Caladan is lead by Duke Leto, and are much more reserved in their use of power than the Harkonnen, but they're not a bunch of hippies. Harkonnens are like Barnes, Atreides like Elias - both very capable but different mindsets.

    Arakis (aka Dune)
    The oil of this future is a substance called Melange, but more commonly referred to as "Spice." It is the most valuable commodity and "he who controls the spice, controls the universe." It's a kind of drug that can extend life and in heavy doses give people super-human capabilities. But there are two big problems: it's deadly addictive, and only exists on the desert planet Arakis. So control of this planet is vital for humanity and naturally every great house (and others) wants a piece of it. Arakis is deadly and very inhospitable, with giant sand worms burrowing underneath attracted to vibrations in the soil. Spice harvesting operations, like oil rigs, is big business but it's exceptionally dangerous when that activity attracts sand worms.

    The Spacing Guild
    Among the great houses is a kind of freelancer group called the Space Guild which has a monopoly on interstellar travel. Guild Navigators consume huge amounts of spice regularly, which gives them the super-human capability to compute and plot spacetime folds (like warp speed travel). Their consumption of spice completely transforms them into these fish-like creatures that have to live in a chamber filled with spice vapor. Even though the Emperor runs the show, the Spacing Guild is extremely powerful and influential because all the great houses rely on their capabilities. You want to invade a planet? You hire the Spacing Guild to send you a Highliner (giant cylindrical space ship carriers) that you load your ships in and they take you instantaneously to your destination.

    The Sisterhood of the Bene Gesserit
    These women are another powerful group outside of the Great Houses and can essentially be thought of as space witches. They're a kind of religious order that aims to manipulate and control things from the shadows, guiding humanity in a direction that they prefer. They use spice to hone super-human like powers of the body and mind. They can read the smallest subtly in someone's demeanor to predict what they are thinking or what they are going to do (great for detecting deception). They can control every fiber in their biological processes, allowing them to do all kind of super-human physical things, and have a fighting style that uses all of those capabilities called The Weirding Way. Basically, everyone is scared of the Bene Gesserit to some degree. In the new trailer, the Reverend Mother is the scary lady with the box.

    Mentats
    Because thinking machines are forbidden at this point, there are humans that have been conditioned to become essentially super-computers by consuming spice and an offshoot called Sapho Juice. Every leader of a great house has a royal Mentant who advises them, along with computing needs.

    The Fremen
    The only humans permanently living on Arakis and supremely evolved to survive in the harsh environment. They have developed special gear called stillsuits that help them survive by processing all of their moisture into a closed-circuit that helps regulate their bodies. That's why you see folks in the trailer with those weird black outfits with hoses into the nose. The Fremen are religious zealots of sorts, patiently waiting for the arrival of their messiah in the form of the Quizat Haderach. Because they basically live surrounded in spice, they're all spice addicts to some degree, turning their eyes a deep blue within blue.

    The story begins...
    So the story centers around Duke Leto's son Paul, a teenager raised on Caladan who's been trained up by the House Atreides master swordsman Gurney Halleck (James Brolin in the new film) and their greatest warrior Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa in the new film), but also trained by his mother Jessica, who is a member of the Bene Gesserit. So he's gotten an extremely rare skillset as a child: capable fighter with near mentat cognitive skill. He's 15 years old and big things are happening in the Landsraad. The Emperor wants House Atreides to take over spice harvesting from the Harkonnens (their bitter rivals) so Duke Leto is moving his center of power to Arakis, while Paul senses something awakening within him.
     
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    Chenapan

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    The Emperor controls an elite military unit, the Sardaukar, fanatical super-soldiers far superior to the forces of the average Great House. There is speculation on where they come from and how they are trained. Frank Herbert was part of the "Human Potential" movement (think COL James Channon), and some of the themes in the book revolve around that.
     
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    Dogtown

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    It's going to be weird when this film comes out and people criticize it for stealing from classic modern sci-fi, unaware that it was the original source for much of that inspiration.
     
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    Fig

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    The remix of Eclipse playing in the background definitely makes that trailer awesome. Whoever put that together is very smart, because the kids have probably never heard the song, and everyone of that generation will recognize it instantly. Brilliant.

    All that you touch and all that you see
    All that you taste, all you feel
    And all that you love and all that you hate
    All you distrust, all you save
    And all that you give and all that you deal
    And all that you buy, beg, borrow, or steal
    And all you create and all you destroy
    And all that you do and all that you say
    And all that you eat and everyone you meet
    And all that you slight and everyone you fight

    And all that is now and all that is gone
    And all that's to come and everything under the sun is in tune
    But the sun is eclipsed by the moon
     
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    Cheyenne Bodie

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    Can somebody give me a rundown of the basic premise of this? I dated a girl who was super into it years ago and since then wrote it off because she was so fucking annoying.
     

    Dogtown

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    See my post above explaining the basics.

    @Fig the rumor is that the use of Eclipse in the trailer was a nod of Jodorowsky, who planned a bizarre 10-hour version of "Dune" back in the '70s full of surrealist designs from Dali and HR Giger, with a soundtrack from Pink Floyd.
     
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    Rebelirons

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    Been waiting for this one for a long time. Not sure if this has been said but it’s going to be a 2 movie story. Dune and Avatar 2 coming? I hope they don’t disappoint
     

    earthtrekker1775

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    See my post above explaining the basics.

    @Fig the rumor is that the use of Eclipse in the trailer was a nod of Jodorowsky, who planned a bizarre 10-hour version of "Dune" back in the '70s full of surrealist designs from Dali and HR Giger, with a soundtrack from Pink Floyd.
    There is an interesting documentary about that. I wish it had been completed. One of my favorite books, two of my favorite artists and one of my favorite bands all combined in what would likely have been an excellent film.
     

    Dogtown

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    I think Skarsgard as the Barron and Bautista as the Beast tells me more about how this movie will better capture the feel of the novel than Lynch did. The Barron was too much of a loud mouth idiot and Beast didn’t seem all that scary in the 1984 film.