Why Dune Director insisted on dividing the book into two films
Dune director Denis Villeneuve explains why he decided to adapt Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel over two films, rather than one long epic.
The director of Dune, Denis Villeneuve, reveals why he decided to divide the classic science fiction novel into two parts. The film is based on the 1965 book of the same name by Frank Herbert and features a powerful cast including Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista and Stellan Skarsgard, to name a few. -a. . Dune tells the story of a young man named Paul Atréides (Chalamet), son of Duke Leto Atréides (Isaac). He focuses on his family as they are forced to wage a war against their longtime enemies, the Harkonnens, after his father accepts stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis.
There have been numerous attempts to adapt the beloved sci-fi novel since its release, including the 1984 film by David Lynch. However, none of them succeeded in translating Herbert’s intricate handwriting into visual medium, with many calling the source material “infilmable.” Villeneuve is no stranger to making sci-fi epics, with a filmography made up of 2016 Arrival and 2017 Blade runner 2049. His credits give him the experience essential to meet the monumental challenge of adapting Dune with the added challenge of appealing to critics and fans of the book. Additionally, Villeneuve and the rest of the team also had to deal with the task of editing the film remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The French-Canadian director met Wired for a virtual interview during post-production of the film. Villeneuve explained his choice to adapt the two-part story and explained why he thought the split was the right way to go. He pointed out that a story of this magnitude and magnitude would “too much“to squeeze into a single movie. Read his quote below:
“The decision I made early on, and everyone agreed, was that the book is… there is so much to say. It was too much for a movie. Or you make a five hour movie and everyone hates you because it’s too long. So we decided to do it in two parts. The story of the first movie holds up. When you watch it, I think it’s is satisfactory. But to complete the story, you need a second movie. “
The decision to split the novel into two parts may have been affected by the lengthy runtime of his latest feature film, Blade runner 2049, which lasted almost three hours. Many critics have suggested that the extended runtime was likely the reason for the film’s poor box office performance. However, Warner Bros. continued to keep his faith in Villeneuve, who has established himself as one of the best modern directors over the past decade. His genius and versatility are present for everyone to see with features such as Fires, Prisoners and Sicario, showcasing its distinct range of stories. So, with a director of his caliber, we can safely say that the project is indeed in good hands.
With the long awaited release of Dune Fast approaching, audiences will have to wait a little longer to find out if Villeneuve has done the source material justice. The film’s Rotten Tomatoes score currently stands at 89% and has already opened up to overseas markets. If international box office numbers and early reviews are anything to go by, the sci-fi mast will surely satisfy both theatergoers who are familiar with Herbert’s work and fans of the book. Dune is slated to hit US theaters in October and will release simultaneously on HBO Max.
Next: How Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Could Kick Off The Next Big Sci-Fi Franchise
- Dune (2021)Release Date: October 22, 2021
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