We’ve all be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. We now know that the first trailer is coming in September, and it will be attached to the theatrical screenings of Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet and then released online on September 9th.
The first trailer will be 1 minute, 37 seconds long, and Inside the Film Room has actually seen the footage. They offered up a description of that footage, but before we get to that, I wanted to shared this new image from the film giving us our first look at Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen.
Glossu Rabban Harkonnen is the older nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and he inherits his cruelty and sadism. In the book, the Baron instructs the character to terrorize the people of Arrakis in an effort to break their spirits. This way, when his favored brother, Feyd-Rautha, showed up, he would be welcomed as a hero when he took over.
— Minorities Report Film (@MReportPod) August 26, 2020
Now for the trailer description. If you want to keep yourself fresh for the trailer when it’s released you might want to skip this. But, if you’re curiosity gets the better of you, here ya go…
Here’s the description offered:
It opens with gorgeous, custom WB and Legendary logos that fit the gold and black aesthetic the marketing material has shown so far. Then, it hops right into an iconic scene fans of the novel will immediately recognize: the Gom Jabbar test. This scene takes place early in the novel and is the focal point of this teaser.
Before traveling to Arrakis, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) is introduced to the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling). She asks Paul to place his hand inside a box that causes Paul to feel excruciating pain without physically harming him. The catch? He’ll die if he removes his hand. The Gom Jabbar is a lethal poisonous needle that Mohiam wears on her finger and presses against Paul’s neck during this test of his humanity, awarenesses and animal instincts. You’ll discover the reason for this test during his journey.
This is nothing short of stunning from a visual perspective. The set that Chalamet and Rampling sit in is enormous and circular, with beautifully ornate carvings in the walls and floor. Sunlight beams through a skylight, and the two characters are centered in the room. The Reverend Mother is wearing a complex gown. It’s almost terrifying how the black, netted material drapes over her entire body, from head to toe. She speaks with a taunting, almost mechanical voice, explaining the test to Paul – the poor boy is clearly in over his head.
As the test plays out and his fear and pain increases, the footage is intercut with a sweeping shot of Arrakis’ deep desert, with dunes as far as the eye can see. It’s exactly how you would imagine it. They’re bright yellow, and you can feel the sun through the screen. We also get quick, big shots of almost every cast member, making their faces obvious to viewers.
We see the door open on an aircraft and the Atreides men stand in their armor as the Arrakis sun shines on them. Oscar Isaac looks absolutely regal and badass as Duke Leto Atreides. Rebecca Ferguson is hooded and smiling as Lady Jessica, and Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) makes a quick appearance wearing a stillsuit. We also see Javier Bardem’s Stilgar remove his face mask to speak to someone and Zendaya’s Chani climbing over rocks with a group of Fremen.
Some quick shots also include an ornithopter touching down in the desert and Paul stepping off. We also see Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh, Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet-Kynes and our first look at “Beast” Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, played by Dave Bautista. He looks almost painted white or covered in dust. There is also the quickest glimpse of a large character’s head emerging from a huge tub full of a liquid that had a similar color to Rabban’s skin. This character seemed to be Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), and it was a perfectly grotesque moment.
Throughout the teaser, the intensity of Paul’s test builds and builds with each new cast member who is introduced, finally culminating with an epic closeup of Paul in the desert in a stillsuit, walking among Fremen. The score really comes in as the title reveals itself, and I am almost certain this is a piece from Hans Zimmer himself. It sounded like a cross between “Blade Runner” and “The Lion King,” with a good amount of drums mixed in with some ethereal, synth vibes. It perfectly fits “Dune.”
The teaser finishes with the title reveal, followed by a stacked list of every cast member that fills the screen from top to bottom, and a stamp that says “FILMED IN IMAX.” This film wasn’t captured with IMAX cameras, so this could mean they’re going the “Top Gun: Maverick” route of having their digital cameras certified by IMAX themselves. I’d expect expanded aspect ratios for at least part of the film, if not the entire film, when you eventually see it in IMAX. The images themselves look unbelievably crisp and almost surreal in a way that’s hard to put my finger on. I don’t know what exactly Villeneuve and cinematographer Greig Fraser did here — anamorphic lenses might’ve done the trick — but if these simple character shots look this good, I can’t wait to see the big and complex stuff.
The film’s cast includes Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Rebecca Ferguson as his mother Jessica, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Harkonnen, Zendaya as Chani, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam, David Dastmcalchian as Piter De Vries, Chang Chen as Dr. Yueh, and Dave Bautista as the Baron’s nephew Rabban.
Here’s the synopsis for the film:
A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Dune is currently slated to hit theaters on December 18th.