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‘Dune’ Reveals Its Mythology in a New, Behind-the-Scenes Trailer

House Atreides arrives on the desert planet, Arrakis in the "Dune" preview featurette.
House Atreides arrives on the desert planet, Arrakis in the “Dune” preview featurette. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Following its Venice Film Festival premiere, Dune received an eight-minute standing ovation. Based on the reaction and its stark, stunning new movie poster, there’s a lot to look forward to. Now with a new streaming featurette, the film’s mythos is being unveiled before its upcoming release.

Based on Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 novel, Dune unfolds as an emotionally charged hero’s journey. The story follows Paul Atreides (played by Timothy Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young prince born to a great but uncertain destiny in the distant future.

The House Atreides is one faction of a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefdoms. The narrative opens as Duke Leto Atreides, Paul’s father, head of House Atreides and ruler of the ocean planet Caladan, accepts an assignment from the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV to serve as fief ruler of the planet Arrakis — a harsh, inhospitable yet extraordinarily valuable desert planet. Arrakis is the only source of melange, or “the spice,” an extremely expensive substance that extends human youth, vitality, and lifespan. Melange is also required for navigating space, and is necessary to a kind of multidimensional awareness and foresight that only the drug provides. As spice can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is a coveted and dangerous undertaking. 

Though Leto (played by Oscar Isaac) knows Atreides’ new task is an intricate trap set by his enemies, he still takes his Bene Gesserit concubine Lady Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson), young son and heir Paul and his most trusted advisers to Arrakis to oversee the spice mining operation, made even more perilous by giant sandworms.

“There is no call that we do not answer, there is no faith that we betray,” Leto says in the clip.

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As factions of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis and its spice, the behind-the-scenes look offers some background details regarding the inner workings of Dune’s sci-fi universe as well as several movie glimpses that are sure to electrify audiences. 

A notoriously difficult film to produce, director Dennis Villeneuve is attempting to bring Herbert’s multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion to the screen. Dune tells the first half of the novel, with Villeneuve confident that fan demand will lead to a sequel. 

“If there’s enthusiasm and the movie is greenlit, sooner than later, I will be ready to shoot in 2022,” Villeneuve said in Venice. “I am ready to go and I would love to bring it to the screen as soon as possible.”

Dune is scheduled for a simultaneous United States 3D theatrical opening and 31-day HBO Max streaming release on Oct. 22.

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Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
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