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Grimes Wanted to Direct ‘Dune,’ Says She Was Fired as ‘Influencer’ for the Film

The singer said she was removed from the project because "there are things that are deeply not woke in the 'Dune' universe."

Grimes arrives at the world premiere of "Captain Marvel" on Monday, March 4, 2019, at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)


Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Grimes is having quite the week.

The songwriter was the subject of a bombshell Vanity Fair cover story, in which she accidentally revealed that she has a second child with Elon Musk. But for movie lovers, that may not even be the biggest news to come out of the article. Grimes also spoke about her love for Frank Herbert’s “Dune” books, and said that she had been dreaming of directing a film adaptation for years, joining Alejandro Jodorowsky on the list of artists with bold visions for “Dune” movies that they never saw realized.

Grimes’ interest in the material is hardly surprising, considering the musician’s longtime love of science fiction, and her interest in using space travel to find alternative solutions to ecological problems. According to the article, Grime’s take on the material would have “the more problematic colonialist elements scrubbed out,” but that did not make her any less enthusiastic about Villeneuve’s film.

“I was just crying my eyes out the whole movie,” Grimes said, noting that she was particularly moved by the film because the character of Paul (Timothée Chalamet) reminded her of her son X Æ A-12. “I just know X is going to have to go through all this really fucked-up shit that sort of mirrors Paul-type stuff,” she said.

In the end, Grimes loved the film so much that she signed on to help market the Warner Bros. movie in an official capacity, agreeing to use her large social media following to promote it.

“I was basically an influencer,” she said of her role.

However, in the weeks leading up to the film’s release, Warner Bros. decided to cut ties with Grimes, the singer alleges. She says it was a result of her posing while reading “The Communist Manifesto,” a clear attempt to troll her billionaire ex-partner. While she was hurt by the decision, Grimes says it was a result of the studio being overly cautious to avoid sparking outrage about some of the more controversial subject matter in the source material.

“There are things that are deeply not woke in the ‘Dune’ universe,” she said.

“Dune: Part Two” is set to open in theaters on October 20, 2023. 

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