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Dune, David Lynch (1984)

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune reboot will be truly faithful to the original book

Here’s everything we know so far about the Blade Runner director’s take on the iconic sci-fi book, starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya

The upcoming, highly-anticipated Dune remake continues to take shape, and director Denis Villeneuve is intent on to “honour everything” about the mammoth original novel by Frank Herbert, steering clear of David Lynch’s 1984 movie. 

David Dastmalchian confirmed this in a recent interview with Cinemablend – Dastmalchian will star in the sci-fi film as Piter de Vries, the twisted, sadistic follower of ruthless villain Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (played by Stellan Skarsgård). 

“I can’t really discuss much about the script or the plot itself, but I can just tell you that that old phrase ‘true to the spirit’ or ‘honoring the spirit of’ (applies),” Dastmalchian said. “Quite honestly I haven’t even seen the most recent (version) of the script, but in the way Denis has talked about the film and what I’ve seen, it’s absolutely true to and in honor of everything that Frank put into the novel… (Denis is) just so fearless, man. He makes choices and then he goes into the places that we need right now as audiences.” 

He added that the “level of maturity and complexity in Herbert’s writing” would be reflected in this adaptation. 

Frank Herbert’s Dune is a giant, pioneering space epic – in terms of both length and narrative. Over 50 years since its release, the book remains a fascinating exploration of politics, technology, empire, and complex human relationships and struggles. 

“I’m so grateful and excited to be a part of Denis’ vision,” Dastmalchian added, a frequent collaborator of Villeneuve’s, as the pair previously worked together on Blade Runner 2049. “I think that he is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time and any time, and I believe what he’s going to do here, it’s just going to take people to a whole other place. When you think about Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, those are the two science fiction films that he’s crafted, you see his gift for telling stories that are visually stunning, but that are also rooted in really complex ideas and really fascinating characters.”

The film will see Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird actor Timothée Chalamet play Paul Atreides, a young nobleman in a feudal society set in the far off future, where families face off over the powerful, life-enhancing spice Melange. The covetable drug is found only on the desert planet of Arrakis, and Paul has a destiny to fulfil. Rebecca Ferguson stars as Paul’s mother and concubine of Duke Leto Atreides Lady Jessica, with Oscar Isaac as the Duke and steward of the planet Arrakis, and Zendaya plays Chani, who develops a relationship with Paul. Filming is underway right now, taking place in Budapest, Hungary, and Jordan. 

Previously speaking to Yahoo! Movies, Villeneuve said his remake of Dune would be more faithful to the 1964 book than Lynch’s version, which starred Twin Peaks lead Kyle MacLachlan. Lynch’s film was largely panned by critics, and strays from much of Herbert’s original narrative in favour of visual fantatisim. Lynch distanced himself from the project, blaming pressure from producers and financiers that restrained his artistic control and denied him the ability to do a final cut.

“David Lynch did an adaptation in the 80s that has some very strong qualities. I mean, David Lynch is one of the best filmmakers alive, I have massive respect for him,” Villeneuve said. “But when I saw his adaptation, I was impressed, but it was not what I had dreamed of, so I’m trying to make the adaptation of my dreams. It will not have any link with the David Lynch movie. I’m going back to the book, and going to the images that came out when I read it.” 

Through the 70s, Arthur P. Jacobs, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Ridley Scott all unsuccessfully attempted to get a Dune film off the ground.

Dune is expected for release November 20 2020.