Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel Dune has become a temple in which filmmakers have frequently worshipped. Published in 1965, when it won the Hugo Award and Nebula Award for outstanding science fiction, Herbert’s interplanetary tale set in the faraway future has already inspired maverick directors like David Lynch, with his 1984 version, and Alejandro Jodorowsky, who famously tried and failed to launch his own adaptation, said to include Orson Welles and Salvador Dalí in the cast.
All will surely pale, though, beside the spectacular new version by the visionary Denis Villeneuve. The French-Canadian filmmaker behind crime sagas like Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015) has been on a sci-fi trip all of his own these last few years, directing the extraordinary first-contact drama Arrival (2016), with Amy Adams, and then boldly going where no man dared to go and creating Blade Runner 2049 (2017), a vast and complex sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic future noir.
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