Dune (2020) begins filming with Denis Villeneuve of ‘Bladerunner 2049’ and ‘Arrival’ fame in the chair.

Warner and Legendary have now started shooting 2020’s Dune movie (on location in Budapest, Hungary, and Jordan), with the film being directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Given D.V. was behind both Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, hopes are running high for an intelligent science fiction epic emerging at the other end.

Villeneuve is directing Dune from a screenplay he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, based on Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel which was originally published as two separate serials in Analog magazine.

Set in the far future, the plot features an imperial feudal interstellar society in which noble houses control planetary fiefs.

Dune (2020) begins filming with Denis Villeneuve of 'Bladerunner 2049' and 'Arrival' fame in the chair.
Dune (2020) begins filming with Denis Villeneuve of ‘Bladerunner 2049’ and ‘Arrival’ fame in the chair.

Dune tells the story of teen nobleman Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, the spice, a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities.

As melange can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is both coveted and a perilous poisoned chalice.

The story explores the dense interactions of politics, religion, ecology and technology, as various factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.

Villeneuve is collaborating for the first time with director of photography Greig Fraser (Lion, Zero Dark Thirty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story); costume designer Jacqueline West (The Revenant, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Quills) and co-costume designer Bob Morgan; and stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception).

Composer Hans Zimmer (Blade Runner 2049, Inception, Gladiator, The Lion King) is creating the score.

Villeneuve is also re-teaming with production designer Patrice Vermette, editor Joe Walker, visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert, and special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer.

The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Joe Caracciolo and Villeneuve. The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, Thomas Tull, Jon Spaihts, Richard P. Rubinstein, John Harrison and Herbert W. Gains, with Kevin J. Anderson serving as creative consultant.

This movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune is the very definition of star-studded, with the cast packed out with Timothée Chalamet (as Paul Atreides), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica), Oscar Isaac (Duke Leto Atreides), Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Stellan Skarsgård (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen), Dave Bautista (Glossu Rabban) – taking a break from the Guardians of the Galaxy films, David Dastmalchian (Piter De Vries), Zendaya (Chani), Stephen Henderson, Charlotte Rampling (Gaius Helen Mohiam, aka the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother), Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho), Javier Bardem (Stilgar) and Chang Chen (Dr. Wellington Yueh).

The film will be with us November 20th 2020.

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