TV & Movies

Uh Oh, The Release of Dune Has Been Delayed

A guide to the upcoming film for people who hate science fiction but are thirsty for Timotheé Chalamet

Everyone’s favourite internet boyfriend is back and he’s ready to prove his acting chops. On September 9, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for Dune, the contemporary adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel by the same name.

The film stars Timothée Chalamet (said internet BF) alongside stars including Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa. Chalamet takes on the role of Paul Atreides, an intergalactic prince who’s trying to save his family and his planet. It’s a science fiction lover’s dream and would typically—as someone whose tastes are more Downton Abbey than Divergent—be my nightmare. Except for the fact that, folks, Dune actually looks freakin’ amazing. It’s moody, there’s tons of sand and the costumes looks like a cross between Star Wars and Game of Thrones—the former of which I’ve never seen (sue me), and the latter of which I am obsessed with. Regardless, it means one thing: Timothée Chalamet in a chic, form-fitting costume. And it is having an *effect* on me—and the internet.

Here, everything you need to know about Dune, and why it’s so damn sexy.

What exactly *is* Dune?

Adapted from a novel (more on that later), Dune is a sci-fi movie set in the distant future that follows Paul Atreides (Chalamet), a prince from an aristocratic space family on the planet of Caladan. Paul’s father Duke Leo (played by Isaac) has been forced to move his household to the desert plant of Arrakis, a desolate place that is rich in an essential commodity called “spice” or “melange.” But, as with any great epic, Arrakis isn’t up for grabs without a fight. Per The Guardian, House Atreides is in competition with House Harkonnen (a.k.a. the bad guys), who once controlled Arrakis (a.k.a. Dune). Paul must leave his home of Caladan to save his family and Arrakis from the Harkonnens. Along the way, he meets Chani (played by Zendaya), Paul’s love interest and a Fremen woman, and goes on an epic adventure with his mom.

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Directed by Dennis Villeneuve, this is the third film version of the book.

OK, and what is spice?

So WTF is spice and why is everyone fighting over it? Per Screen Rant, spice is “a mysterious, psychedelic substance granting its user the power of foresight and heightened awareness.” Spice is valuable because of its ability to enhance interstellar travel as well as its more ~recreational~ uses. According to Screen Rant, whoever controls the spice trade has immense power and wealth. So it’s pretty major stuff.

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What is the film based on?

While the film Dune may be new and exciting for some, there are other fans out there who have been waiting with bated breath for its release because they already know and are invested in the characters. The film is an adaptation of a 1965 novel Dune by author Frank Herbert, a monster epic that clocked in at 400 pages in its initial print and now spans 900 pages in paperback, according to a July 2015 article in The Guardian. A journalist, Herbert’s novel developed from research he was doing for a magazine story about a 1959 US Department of Agriculture programme “to stabilise the shifting sands by introducing European beach grass,” per The Guardian. This led to research on desert and desert cultures. And thus, Dune was born. The novel is considered by some to be the greatest science fiction novel of all time. After his death, Herbert’s son and a co-author continued the series.

Who’s starring in Dune?

If you thought Garry Marshall’s seminal film Valentine’s Day was star-studded, you’re in for a treat with Dune. The film features a host of big Hollywood names as leads, including Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides (Paul’s father and the ruler of Arrakis), The Greatest Showman‘s Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica (Paul’s mother), Josh Brolin and Jason Momoas as Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho (Paul’s mentors) respectively, not to mention Javier Bardem as Stilgar (the leader of a group of Indigenous people called Fremen), and Zendaya as Paul’s love interest Chani.

Having had no idea what the world of Dune even *was* until this trailer was released, this casting is spot on. Javier Bardem as Zendaya’s uncle is *chef’s kiss*.

When does Dune premiere?

Along with many blockbuster films that have had to push back their 2020 premiere dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dune has *also* had to push back its scheduled release date. Initially scheduled to land in theatres on December 18, 2020, on October 5 it was revealed that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures had pushed back the release date. While a new official premiere date hasn’t formally been announced, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the hit Sci-fi film will be moved to early October 2021.

Fingers crossed we can all see Timmy on the silver screen then.

Will there be a sequel to Dune?

For both sci-fi *and* Chalamet fans alike, there’s some extra-good news. The excitement of Dune doesn’t end with the release of this film in December 2020. Per Villeneuve, the massive novel will be split into two films. “I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” he told Vanity Fair. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.” No word yet on when exactly we can expect a sequel.

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And what the heck is a sandworm?

The culmination of the trailer appears to be the final scene, in which Paul is chased by a creature in the sand. In the final moments of the trailer, said creature lifts its head, revealing a towering form with seriously vicious looking jaws. This is a sandworm. Native to Arrakis, sandworms are an integral part of the planet, as their larvae produce the aforementioned “melange” or spice. Fun fact: Fremen worship sandworms and can even ride them—so keep your eyes peeled for that. (I, for one, will keep my eyes closed.)

OK so, why am I so turned on by Dune?

If you found yourself watching the trailer and feeling particularly hot under the collar, fear not—because you’re definitely not alone. As Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz of The Cut so aptly pointed out (and has written about before), the trailer is smokin’ hot. And the primary source of that sizzle is the cast itself. Put Chalamet, Isaac, Zendaya and Momoa (even sans beard) together on-screen and you’re just asking for sexy, titillating trouble. (Sorry Josh Brolin, but you’re not included in my fantasy).

I mean…

Not to mention the fact that Chalamet’s whisper-talking is pretty much a cinematic version of pillow talk, because it’s ~intimate~. His character is giving me some moody Hamlet vibes (if Hamlet lived on a desolate planet and dressed like Neo from The Matrix), and I. AM. INTO. IT! Moody Chalamet is *the* best Chalamet.

Also, a “sandworm”? Excuse me but that image is suggestive as hell.

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I haven’t been this turned on since Fleabag called The Hot Priest father in Season 2 of Fleabag. (Seriously, watch it).

Another reason you may be so hot and bothered: we’re pretty much living through the apocalypse. Can we be blamed for trying to find thirst in literally anything? The answer is no.

In the opening of the first trailer, Chalamet’s Paul Atreides prophetically says: “There’s something happening to me. There’s something awakening in my mind that I can’t control.” There too is something awakening inside of me, Paul, it’s just less PG. So 2021, please get here already.