The first official look at Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” has arrived, courtesy of Vanity Fair. The first photo released from the movie depicts Timothée Chalamet as protagonist Paul Atreides. The character is seen walking on his native planet of Caladan while spaceships begin transporting his family to their new home, Arrakis. Paul’s family has inherited ownership of Arrakis, a desert planet that is home to the world’s most valuable resource, a superhuman drug called “spice.” As the owners of Arrakis, the Atreides become the enemy of rival royal families and the planet’s indiginious population, a group of natives known as the Fremen.
“The immediately appealing thing about Paul was the fact that in a story of such detail and scale and world-building, the protagonist is on an anti-hero’s-journey of sorts,” Chalamet said to Vanity Fair about signing on to “Dune,” which marks the young actor’s first time leading a giant studio tentpole. “He thinks he’s going to be sort of a young general studying his father and his leadership of a fighting force before he comes of age, hopefully a decade later, or something like that.”
Starring opposite Chalamet is an impressive ensemble cast that includes Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgard, and Dave Bautista, among others.
One of Villeneuve’s key collaborators on the project was cinematographer Greig Fraser, Oscar nominated for his work on “Lion.” Fraser’s other credits include “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The cinematographer is known for his grounded, handheld camera style, which led many to believe “Dune” would have a more realistic tone than Villeneuve’s last sci-fi spectacle “Blade Runner 2049.” Fans should expect the cold, grey tones of Caladan to contrast sharply with the desert atmosphere of Arrakis.
“’Dune’ was made by people from all over the world,” Villeneuve said to Vanity Fair. “Many of these people are like family to me, and they’re very much in my thoughts. I’m so proud to showcase their hard work. I look forward to a time when we can all get together again as ‘Dune’ was made to be seen on the big screen.”
Warner Bros. is scheduled to release “Dune” in theaters on December 18, a date that is remaining unchanged for now. Get the first full look at Chalamet in the leading role in the photo below.