The first Dune trailer is here, promising a first look at Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villenueve’s attempt to film one of the most unfilmable stories in the science fiction canon. Dune, written by Frank Herbert in 1965, has generations of fans, but with minimal plot teased in the trailer, some may be left scratching their heads at Timothée Chalamet and a basketball-team’s-worth of strong-jawed actors whipping around the desert with armor and swords. We wouldn’t blame anyone: Dune is dense.
An incredible cast will help bring it to life. Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) is front and center in Dune as Paul Atreides, the heir to the throne of House Atreides. Joining the Oscar-nominated actor are Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Josh Brolin (Sicario), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO’s Chernobyl), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Lady Bird), Zendaya (HBO’s Euphoria), Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Netflix’s Sex Education), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men).
But newcomers may have big questions about the world of Dune: Who is Paul? What is the House Atreides? What’s the deal with the sandworm? Is this Star Wars?
To introduce future Dune viewers to Herbert’s world (and to help polished Dune fans revel in the big screen moment), we’ve put together this burning-question guide with many of the answers — but no spoilers yet.