Adaptation of Denis Villeneuve by Frank Herbert Dune Always imagined as two pictures. But while the sequel may not be perfect, it is already a “dream” for Canadian director and his star Timothy Chalmet.
“Simply put, this is a lifelong honor for me,” Chalamet said Friday at the Venice Film Festival. “I hope we do a second. It’s a dream … (but) it’s already a dream come true.”
Charlotte, Villeneuve, Zendia, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem all gathered to discuss the film at a news conference before the world premiere in Lido on Friday night. It did not make its debut as part of the Competition Slate, but it was one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year after a long delay in release due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Based on Herbert’s 1965 science fiction classic, Dune is a rising duke, intergalactic power struggles, a heroic tale of deadly spice and deadly spaceworms and it has inspired some of the best filmmakers. Chalmette plays the young hero Paul Atrides when his family learns to rule and protect Arakis, the enemy desert planet home to some of the most valuable resources in the universe.
“When Frank Herbert wrote the Dune in the 60s, it was like a portrait of the 20th century, but it further predicted what would happen on the 21st,” he said. “Sadly the book is very relevant today … I wish it weren’t so, but I think this movie speaks to the world more now than it did 40 years ago.”
For the cast, it’s more than a sci-fi scene: it’s a cerebral and emotional experience. Isaac, who plays Paul’s father, was often thinking about the weight of playing the role of deliberately running towards his death. Lady Jessica rejoiced in the tension between Paul’s mother, Ferguson’s mother and her devout believers.
One of the most meaningful bonds between the director and the star is that Chalamet has leaned on everyone in the cast at some point for emotional support.
“We have strong communication and an ideal relationship,” Chalemet said, switching to a little French.
“I have had faith and confidence in Timothy since the shooting began,” Villeneuve also said in French. “When the opportunity to work with Charlotte Rampling came, he was initially scared, but everything went well … I understood his power as an actor … I cried for his ability to understand the character. I knew for sure I was not wrong in choosing him.”
Zendaya has a minor role in terms of screen time and days in the film, but her character will become more central if the sequel happens.
“It was scary and intimidating, but as soon as I got there, there was such warmth and embrace,” she says. “I’ve only been there a few days, but as a family member (and) I’m grateful for this wonderful puzzle called Dune.”
Dune is set to release on October 22, simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, just like all Warner Bros. movies in 2021, although Villaniev expects audiences to want a theatrical experience, but it’s safe to do so.
“It was a dream come true, it was designed, IMAX was filmed thinking,” Villeneuve said. “It’s a physical experience. We tried to make a film as immersive as possible. For me, that’s part of the big screen language.”
It remains to be seen whether the audience will enter, but Brolin says the 40-dune superphone has already given a vote of confidence
As the credits at the screening began to move, there was a moment of silence, then Brolin said, “he started screaming at the top of his lungs and ‘That’s what I saw, that’s what I saw as a kid!”