Following the release of our first official look at actor Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in the upcoming science-fiction epic Dune, we have now been gifted with several images giving us a good look at the other characters that inhabit this complex world, as well as the kinds of desolate landscapes that surround them.
The handful of images show the movie's impressive cast, which includes the likes of Zendaya Coleman, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, and Jason Momoa all wearing their space gear.
What is really interesting to note, and was noticed by many Dune fans yesterday, is how grounded the images look considering the story that is being adapted. There is something very dirty and dusty about them, something rough around the edges, with the muted colors suggesting that director Denis Villeneuve will be going for a dour, lived-in look for this sci-fi saga. Of course, these images are from behind-the-scenes and not from the movie itself, but still, they give us a good idea of what we can expect.
Despite them not being stills from the actual movie itself, the landscapes certainly give off an otherworldly vibe regardless, with Timothée Chalamet describing filming as "really surreal".
"There are these Goliath landscapes, which you may imagine existing on planets in our universe, but not on Earth."
Of course, this ethereal feel is absolutely necessary, as Chalamet's Paul Atreides is not on Earth at all, but rather the deadly, dust-dry battleground planet known as Arrakis. In Frank Herbert's epic 1965 sci-fi novel, Arrakis is the only known location of the galaxy's most vital resource, the mind-altering, time-and-space-warping "spice." Chalamet stars as the young royal Paul Atreides, who is fighting to protect this hostile new home even as it threatens to destroy him. Humans are the aliens on Arrakis.
The dominant species on that world are immense, voracious sandworms that burrow through the barren drifts like subterranean dragons. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.
In order to create this alien world and its infinite seas of sand, filming took place in the remote regions outside Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where temperatures rose to such degrees they rivaled the source material itself. Thankfully, Chalamet was able to use the uncomfortable conditions to better his performance.
"I remember going out of my room at 2 a.m., and it being probably 100 degrees. The shooting temperature was sometimes 120 degrees. They put a cap on it out there, if it gets too hot. I forget what the exact number is, but you can't keep working. In a really grounded way, it was helpful to be in the stillsuits and to be at that level of exhaustion."
In Dune, stillsuits are the thick, rubbery armor that preserves the body's moisture, even gathering tiny bits from the breath exhaled through the nose. In the novel they are life-giving, but in real life, they sound like torture.
Along with the images, director Denis Villeneuve confirmed that Dune will be released in two installments, though it is unclear whether they are being shot back-to-back.
"I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie. The world is too complex. It's a world that takes its power in details."
Dune is scheduled to hit theaters on December 18. This comes to us from Vanity Fair. The photos are by Chiabella James.