Not all movies are on hold these days: Denis Villeneuve’s Dune finished shooting in July 2019, and today Vanity Fair shared a first look at the ambitious take on Frank Herbert’s legendarily unfilmable science fantasy novel, cast with a who’s who of Hollywood’s favorites.
Timothée Chalamet stars in the role of Paul Atreides, noble scion, revolutionary leader, and prophesied messiah; seen in the first picture above with Rebecca Ferguson, who plays his mother Lady Jessica Atreides, a concubine, duchess, space nun, and psychic witch.
Zendaya, seen in the second photo, appears as Chani, a mysterious native woman who haunts Paul’s dreams — the two are destined to fall in love, but maybe not until the next installment. Villeneuve has split Herbert’s dense novel into two parts, one for 2020’s Dune and one for its unnamed sequel.
“I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” Villeneuve told Vanity Fair. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”
Photo three features a House Atreides family photo, with Chalamet (starting third from left); Stephen Mckinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat, Paul’s tutor, the house’s spymaster and a “Mentat,” a human being who has trained their mind as a replacement for banned computer analysis; Oscar Isaac as Paul’s regal father, Duke Leto Atreides; Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides; and finally Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa as as Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho, who head up security forces for House Atreides and train Paul in the arts of war.
The final three photos in Vanity Fair’s Instagram gallery are character portraits, of an armored and bearded Isaac; of Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as a genderbent version of Dr. Liet Kynes, a rogue scientist who wants to terraform the desert planet Arakkis; and of Momoa as Duncan Idaho. There are even more in the full Vanity Fair feature.
But there’s plenty of Dune’s cast missing form this photoshoot. Stellan Skarsgård will appear as the villainous Baron Harkonnen, albeit in “full-body prosthetics [...] like a rhino in human form.” Rounding out the cast is Dave Bautista as the Baron’s sadistic nephew, Glossu Rabban and Javier Bardem as Stilgar, the leader of a tribe of Fremen insurgents who Paul and Jessica befriend.
Dune is still on track to hit studios on Dec. 18, 2020. Next time, Villeneuve, show us the worm!