It’s been ages since we had any news on Dune so it’s been a real thrill to get so much new stuff over the course of a couple of days. It gives us our first look at the actors in role. Obviously, these are prepared shots as opposed to stills from the film so they only give away so much, but how wonderful to see things coming together. I’ve included all the images here but I should first give credit to Vanity Fair for their article, which gives more insight into the production than we have currently had.
We first got this picture of Timothee Chalamet as Paul on a grey day on Caladan, ships above him in the air. It’s a brooding picture. If it’s a still from the film, then it could be the stress of his encounter with Mohiam playing on his mind. He looks the part, though. I felt great when I saw this picture.
There’s also this picture of House Atreides. Momoa looks great with his clean and tidy look. I like the uniforms, except for Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir who looks like he’s wearing three coats on top of each other.
Oscar Isaac looks great in this shot. He actually reminds me of Jurgen Prochnow a little in the look. Wonderful stuff. Behind him is Josh Brolin as Gurney. They have blades and armour which look really good. The fact that they’re wearing armour confused me a little as they use shields so much, but I assume there’s a reason for it. It looks fantastic regardless.
Gurney Halleck is pictured here giving us a front shot of the armour but also, more intriguingly, an ornithopter in the background. You can see it has the Atreides hawk insignia. Can’t wait to see the whole thing. The ornithopters in the Lynch version were hugely underwhelming and I trust these are going to be better.
We got a picture of Jason Momoa in action too as Duncan Idaho. I think he’s going to make a wonderful Duncan. He’s not pictured in the dress uniform. The overall aesthetic of the costumes for the Atreides is about what I would have expected. It’s serious, sombre and understated.
Rebecca Ferguson is pictured above as Lady Jessica, wearing the black aba robe of the Bene Gesserit. It’s a black robe so there’s not much you can get wrong or right with that.
Next, we have our first look at the stillsuits. These have set the fan community to levels of toxicity akin with what we’ve seen with Star Wars over the past few years. There are those who hate the design and those who hate people for hating it. There’s been a lot of arguing going on. It’s not quite what I expected; a little more ‘military fatigues’ in look, but it’s not bad. People’s criticisms range from the lack of robes, which we might see later on, to the lack of a full face covering as alluded to in the books. One particular person I was talking to on social media was intensely put out that this was not done. I had to point out that this is a film and you can’t spend ages looking at covered faces. You don’t get any of the emotion from facial expressions. It’s why we see so much of Spider-Man with his costume on but his mask off in the films. It’s just how it needs to be in the medium of film.
There’s also our frist look at the Fremen, starting with Zendaya in costume as Chani. Very happy with her look in this role. I think I prefer the design of the crysknife in the Lynch version (though I’m not exactly sure that is a crysknife she has) but I’d have to see more of it to have a full opinion.
The other thing that’s causing hostility in the fan community is the gender swap of Liet Kynes. The picture above shows Sharon Duncan Brewster in costume as the Imperial Planetologist. I’ve given my feelings on this in a previous article so I’ll only go as far as to say that I’m not bothered about this at all. Having read the book many, many times, I find nothing in it that makes me think that Kynes being a woman would have a profound effect on anything in the narrative. It just upsets me that you can’t express an opinion on this matter in the fan community without being accused of ‘wokeness’ (God, that’s a term that really annoys me) or on the other hand being a sexist. Seriously, people need to just relax on this whole thing. Ellen Ripley and Kara Thrace worked out very well indeed so let’s just see how it looks on screen. Sharon Duncan Brewster is meant to be a very accomplished actor so I think it’s in good hands. It reads to me like so many people who claim to be fans just want to dump all over this project before they’ve even seen it. The weight of expectations is too much for some, it seems.
We also got a picture of Stilgar, the Fremen naib (Javier Bardem) alongside the director, Denis Villeneuve.
I’m so glad to have a taste of what’s coming. All the cinemas are shut and it’s great to look ahead to a time when we will finally get to go back. What a film experience to look forward to! I’m definitely doing this in IMAX.
Can’t be long now until we get a trailer and maybe some more casting announcements. Still waiting for word on Irulan, Shaddam and Feyd among others, assuming they’re going to appear in the first film. It would seem strange that we don’t even get a look at the Emperor. I’m hanging on for Damian Lewis in that role.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope to see more of this production soon.
Take care everyone,
You can click on the links below to see more of my casting reactions.