Just over a month to go and Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated adaptation of sci-fi classic Dune is getting stellar reviews. With COVID still keeping many away from theaters the whole industry really needs Dune, and No Time To Die, to provide a shot in the arm. Meanwhile, fans want Dune Part 2.
One thing the reviews tell us is that the title card refers to this movie as Dune Part 1. Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures haven’t given the green light for production to go forward on Dune Part 2 as yet. Speaking at the world premiere in Venice, the director has confirmed the sequel is good to go if Warner Bros. is:
“When you make a movie in two parts, necessarily, when you do the first part you have to know what you’re going to do in the second part. So I will say that I will be very ready to go quite quickly.
To go quickly in a movie of that size you still need to make sets, costumes, so we are talking about months. But if ever there’s enthusiasm and the movie is green-lit sooner than later, I will say that I will be ready to shoot in 2022, for sure. 2022, for sure.
I would love to because I am ready to go, and I will say that I would love to bring it to the screen as soon as possible.”
He states that this first movie has a clear job to do, in that it must lay all the groundwork without losing the audience:
“The tough task [in ‘Part One’] was to introduce you guys to this world, to the ideas, to the codes, to the cultures, the different families, the different planets. Once this is done it becomes an insane playground.
So it will allow me to go berserk and really create … I should not say this but I will say that for me ‘Dune: Part One’ is like an appetizer. ‘Dune: Part Two’ is the main meal where we can add much more. That’s what I can say. As much as “Dune: Part One” was by far my most exciting project ever, ‘Dune: Part Two’ is already getting me even more excited.”
With 27 reviews counted, the film stands at a strong 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an 8.4/10 average rating. Clarisse Loughery of The Independent says:
“It is a film of such literal and emotional largeness that it overwhelms the senses. If all goes well, it should reinvigorate the book’s legacy in the same way Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy did for JRR Tolkien’s work. 5/5”
Xan Brooks of The Guardian raves:
“Dune reminds us what a Hollywood blockbuster can be. Implicitly, its message written again and again in the sand, Denis Villeneuve’s fantasy epic tells us that big-budget spectaculars don’t have to be dumb or hyperactive, that it’s possible to allow the odd quiet passage amid the explosions. [It’s a] dense, moody and quite often sublime – the missing link bridging the multiplex and the arthouse”
That said, several reviews do say the movie is not 100% perfection, and that Herbert’s own issues from the book sometimes rear their heads. Justin Chang of the LA Times says:
“To call this ‘Dune’ a remarkably lucid work is to praise it with very faint damnation… Villeneuve has ironed out many of the novel’s convolutions, to the likely benefit of comprehension but at the expense of some rich, imaginative excess. As a visual and visceral experience, ‘Dune’ is undeniably transporting. As a spectacle for the mind and heart, it never quite leaves Earth behind.”
Meanwhile, David Ehrlich of Indiewire talks about vision and ambition clouding execution:
“For all of Villeneuve’s awe-inducing vision, he loses sight of why Frank Herbert’s foundational sci-fi opus is worthy of this epic spectacle in the first place. Such are the pitfalls of making a movie so large that not even its director can see around the sets.”
Either way, the future of massive scale, massive budget adult sci-fi on the big screen hinges on this. Dune premieres in theaters and HBO Max on October 22nd. Dune Part 2, only if we get out and watch this in big numbers.
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