Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 13 July 2020

'It's one of the scenes I'm proud of': 'Dune' director offers new look at film shot in Jordan and Abu Dhabi

The sci-fi epic has unveiled another image taken in the Middle East ahead of the film's release

Timothee Chalamet and Josh Brolin appear in the newly released image from 'Dune'. Warner Bros / Instagram
Timothee Chalamet and Josh Brolin appear in the newly released image from 'Dune'. Warner Bros / Instagram

It's one of the year's most anticipated film releases, and fans have just been offered another sneak peek at the sci-fi epic Dune.

Even better, the deserts of the UAE get a look-in.

The Denis Villeneuve-directed film, which is due to hit cinemas in December, revealed a new still this week, with the sandy landscape of Abu Dhabi in the background.

The adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel is set on the fictional planet of Arrakis, an inhospitable land that is home to the galaxy's most prized resource, a life-extending drug named "spice". The UAE's dramatic sweeping sands formed the backdrop of the planet, while shooting also took place in Jordan's Wadi Rum.

See more images from the upcoming film in the gallery below:

The film revolves around a young royal who not only has to battle hostile native creatures to mine spice, but also uphold his family's stewardship of the land against other interstellar noble houses.

The protagonist, Paul Atreides, is played by Academy Award nominee Timothee Chalamet, who appears in the new still alongside co-star Josh Brolin.

“It’s Paul’s first contact with the deep desert, where he’s mesmerised by it,” the director told Empire while unveiling the image. “He has a strange feeling of being home. There’s a lot of action at this specific moment, and [it’s] one of the scenes in the movie that I’m starting to get pretty proud of.”

Call Me By Your Name actor Chalamet, 24, has previously recounted his experiences filming in the region.

“It was really surreal,” he told Variety, of shooting a scene at dawn in the south of Jordan. “There are these Goliath landscapes, which you may imagine existing on planets in our universe, but not on Earth.”

Filming in the summer heat in the UAE presented new obstacles for the cast, Chalamet recalled.

“I remember going out of my room at 2am, and it being probably 100 degrees [37.7°C],” says Chalamet. “The shooting temperature was sometimes 120 degrees [48.8°C]."

In Dune, which is set to be released on Friday, December 18, Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson take on the roles of Atreides's parents, while Stellan Skarsgard portrays the head of House Harkonnen, the longstanding enemy of House Atreides.

Zendaya plays a Fremen woman, one of the native inhabitants of Arrakis, while Jason Momoa and Brolin take on the roles of elite warriors who help train up the young Atreides. Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem round out the star-studded cast.

The film, helmed by Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Villeneuve, is the second silver-screen adaption of the Hugo Award-winning novel, following David Lynch’s much-criticised 1984 take.

Updated: May 14, 2020 05:26 PM

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