Back to IndieWire

‘Dune’ Art Director Says Villeneuve’s Films Will Be Up There with ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series

Supervising art director Tom Brown also said that Denis Villeneuve's "seminal version" is one that won't be topped.



Warner Bros.

We’re still months out from the December 18 release of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” and the filmmaker is currently racing to wrap up post-production on his epic, now-fabled adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi tome. In the meantime, details from the below-the-line side of things are trickling out, including most recently from the movie’s supervising art director Tom Brown. In an interview with KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Brown teased the movie and what audiences can expect from Villeneuve’s grand vision.

“The great thing about this is that it’s so realistic. It’s not like anything they’ve seen before,” Brown said of the film’s spacecraft. “The attitude that Denis and [production designer] Patrice [Vermette took] was, what would happen if these things could actually fly? Unlike a lot of spaceships that just sort of lift off and fly, these have an incredible realism to them. Even though some of the spaceships are the size of skyscrapers, others are two-seater vehicles.”

Brown also made a pretty bold claim in regards to Villeneuve’s ambitions, especially seeing that “Dune” is a movie that even the great Alejandro Jodorowsky tried and failed to make in the 1970s, and David Lynch notoriously bombed with in 1984.

“I think what Denis Villeneuve is doing is what’s called a seminal version of this story. I don’t think it will be topped, to be perfectly honest,” Brown said. “The sheer scale of it is going to be daunting. But I do think it’s going to be extremely special. I heard in the paper the other day that they’re looking at the new ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and I firmly believe that. I think it’s going to be up there with those kinds of films, really.”

Brown also said that, as Villeneuve plans to split “Dune” into two films, “the film, for all intents and purposes for us, was complete” last year. In a prior interview, cinematographer Greig Fraser assured that the first movie, debuting in December, will feel like a standalone, complete film.

Villeneuve recently spoke about the sprint to wrap “Dune” amid quarantine in Canada and separated from the rest of his team. “The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now. It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now, because we were allowed to go back to shoot those elements in a few weeks…it meant also that I have to finish some elements of the movie, like VFX and the editing, being in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles,” Villeneuve said.

Watch the full interview with Brown on YouTube.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox