Tenet, Dune Trailer, and More!

Dune Trailer

Nick: It may be an understatement to say that the folks at 25YL are fans of Dune. I don’t think that this is a particularly controversial statement, especially when you consider the site’s history with works by director David Lynch, who directed the first adaptation of Frank Herbert’s beloved science fiction novel. Personally, I’m a little lukewarm regarding Lynch’s adaptation, but that hasn’t stopped me from reading four of the novels and watching multiple other adaptations of the novel, including Lynch’s movie twice, both of the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries adaptations, and a documentary about another surrealist filmmaker that tried to adapt the book. The attempts to adapt Dune to this point have had mixed results at best. Lynch’s version is certainly the most well-known and successful—enough to develop a cult following—but it was still critically and commercially disappointing when it was released.

There’s a reason that the book has challenged a lot of talented people: it’s a difficult book to adapt. Dune is a dangerous mix of sprawling, philosophical, lengthy, and meandering: boiling it down to a two-hour movie is no small feat. This is why I was excited when it was announced that director Denis Villeneuve would lead a new adaptation. Villeneuve has already proven that he is able to handle the kind of Dune’s brand of heady science fiction with the films Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. The all-star cast, including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, and Javier Berdem, was another promising sign. The first trailer for Dune was released last week, and while I’m fully aware that there have been plenty of disappointing movies with awesome trailers, the trailer looks like yet another good sign of things to come!

The trailer sets up a couple of key elements of the Dune mythos, including the transformation of the protagonist, Paul Atreides (Chalamet), into a messiah of sorts for the desert world Arrakis. The second half of the trailer focuses on the dangers of Arrakis—both of the people around Paul and his family and the planet itself. Underlying the second half of the trailer is a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse” from their seminal album The Dark Side of the Moon. While I fully acknowledge that using a slowed-down/sad cover of a pop/rock song is a major movie trailer trope, it is also one that I buy into almost without exception. I personally think that it is always great and I always love it. The song arrangement helps provide the trailer with a level of gravitas and scale that’s appropriate for a space epic. Eclipse also complements the content of the trailer in multiple ways: there are surface similarities, like the song’s psychedelic lyrics about space pairing with a movie about another planet that mines a psychedelic drug that lets you see the future, as well as more tonally complementary elements, as both the song, images, and dialogue instill a sense of dread about the challenges that face the characters on Arrakis.

The trailer ends with a recitation of a mantra that is legendary among Dune fans: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” But as the very end of the trailer shows, there is a lot of fear to banish when you’re on Dune, especially when you’re face-to-face with a giant sandworm!

Written by TV Obsessive

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