‘Dune’ artfully combines an epic tale with epic visuals



Since its release on Oct. 22, “Dune” has grossed over $221 million in theaters alone.

Reese Duncan, Staff Writer

After being delayed for over 10 months, “Dune” finally hit theaters and HBO Max on Oct. 22, 2021, proving to audiences that it was well worth the wait.

Adapted from Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel, “Dune,” tells of life in the year 10,191. The solar system is governed by different houses, one of the most powerful being the House Atreides. Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), son of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac)  and Lady Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson), is next in line for Duke. Lady Jessica Atreides is a member of the grim Sisterhood known as the Bene Gesserit and possesses psychotic powers which allow her to command anyone she desires to do whatever she desires. She teaches these skills to Paul, making him increasingly powerful as the film’s main protagonist. The desert planet Arrakis, rich with an insanely coveted material called “spice,” is under the ominous and lethal rule of House Harkonnen. House Atreides accepts the chance to take over Arrakis and gain the revenue from the spice sales, while also providing more liberty to the Fremen peoples who are native to the planet. As more secrets are revealed and the mysteriously unexplained Chani (Zendaya) continues to haunt Paul’s dreams, the action heats up and leads the audience on a suspenseful journey across the desert.

With the combination of an astoundingly star-studded cast and a revolutionary director, “Dune” is yet another example of how beautiful a well-made science fiction adaptation can be. Denis Villeneuve, an award-winning director known for his extreme long shots and an immaculate blend of visual beauty and story-based wonder, was a perfect fit to make a modern adaptation. His world-renowned auteur pairs perfectly with one of the most well-known science fiction tales of all time, effectively translating the narrative of “Dune” to the big screen in a mind-boggling way. Villeneuve stuck to the original source material religiously, and it shows in the ultimate storytelling abilities which “Dune” displays to audiences. Villeneuve chose to tell the story in two parts, with the main titles at the start of the film reading “Dune: Part One.”

This blockbuster is not the first well-known film adaptation of “Dune.” In 1984, acclaimed director David Lynch, known for his surrealist and supernatural stylistic choices, took a stab at adapting the book into a singular feature film. While it was not as positively received as the modern “Dune,” it set the stage early on for future science fiction adaptation films in a similar fashion as Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” from 1968. The 2021 version may be more widely accepted among modern audiences; the 1984 adaptation had an undeniable effect on the film industry for decades to come. 

On Oct. 26, 2021, WarnerMedia confirmed that the second part of “Dune” will be made, allowing Villeneuve to finish his science-fiction epic, and is set to release Oct. 20, 2023. The film is in theaters globally and streaming on HBO Max until Nov. 21, 2021.