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Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, Dune
Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune will premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival

A new look at the Timothée Chalamet-starring sci-fi epic has been released ahead of its September debut

Finally, we’ve got a new worldwide premiere date for Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated adaptation of Dune. Following long coronavirus delays and controversy about the film’s debut, it’s officially set to premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival on September 3.

Building anticipation ahead of the premiere, the film festival has also revealed more teaser images, which show stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, and Javier Bardem in full Arrakis regalia (see them below).

Based on Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi novel of the same name, the film tells the story of Paul Atreides, the son of a noble family that has been tasked with overseeing the dangerous desert planet (and its native giant sandworms). The cast also includes Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, and Jason Momoa.

Dune marks Villeneuve’s return to Venice, five years after he premiered 2016’s Arrival at the festival, and — if all goes to plan — will form part of a completely in-person event. Its simultaneous release in cinemas and on HBO Max is still slated to take place on October 1 (much to the disappointment of the director, presumably).

Back in December 2020, Villeneuve criticised the idea to simultaneously release the film on the streaming service in an article for Variety, writing that it “is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth”.

“Warner Brothers’ sudden reversal from being a legacy home for filmmakers to the new era of complete disregard draws a clear line for me,” he added. “Filmmaking is a collaboration, reliant on the mutual trust of team work and Warner Brothers has declared they are no longer on the same team.”

Dune’s producers have also previously threatened legal action against distributor Warner Bros, if the deal goes ahead as planned. Then again, it wouldn’t be a Dune adaptation without a healthy dose of controversy. You can look back over the many ill-fated attempts to adapt the book in the past — from David Lynch’s self-proclaimed “total failure”, to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Salvador Dalí-starring version that fell through — here.

Revisit the trailer for Villeneuve’s Dune here, and take a look at the new Dune image from the Venice Biennale below.