After scattered reports of a teaser for the film’s trailer running before Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, the first official trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation has finally made its public debut:
The trailer’s premiere was preceded by a Q&A panel with the film’s cast and director hosted by comedian and late night host Stephen Colbert:
Timothée. Rebecca. Oscar. Josh. Zendaya. Sharon. Jason. Javier. Denis. DUNE TRAILER FIRST LOOK. 👀 https://t.co/ePHY6aGem4— Twitter Movies (@TwitterMovies) September 9, 2020
What We Can Gather
The trailer begins with a young man named “Paul” dreaming about meeting a young woman, played by Zendaya, and a coming crusade. As the young woman utters his name and Paul wakes from his dream, an older female voice asks him whether he dreams things that happen just as he dreamed them, to which he simply replies, “Yes.”
Next is the previously seen scene where the older woman reveals a box to young Paul. The cloaked female explains that if he removes his hand from the box, he will die, and holds up a needle against his neck to emphasize her point. As Paul asks what’s in the box, she simply responds, “Pain.”
This is followed by a montage of shots of a planet filled with mountains, valleys filled with rivers of water, and objects in the sky over what appears to be a beach, over a rendition Pink Floyd’s Brain Damage/Eclipse.
Next is a scene where Paul engages a device on his hand, and a low sounding buzz signals that his body has begun to glow. He is then seen engaging in a knife fight with Josh Brolin, who also has this same glow around his body.
The older woman continues to dialogue about Paul’s power and notes that while he would need to learn to rule others, his predecessors did not exercise this same level of wisdom. Paul then observes how his father is both a rule and being sent to another planet to rule, to which the woman tells Paul that his father will lose both.
Paul is then seen arriving in a desert area where he is happily greeted by a beardless Jason Momoa. This is followed by a shot of Javier Bardem, his eyes a deep blue and a featuring a device inserted into his nostrils, who takes off his mask to reveal his face. The old woman further explains Arrakis is a death trap before the audiences is presented a shot of thousands of soldiers surrounded by ships on a rainy planet.
This leads to the appearance of heavy-breathing Dave Bautista, who is whited out and clad in full armor.
The next shot features a fire burning on top of palm trees while hordes of people stand at the bottom. Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica then appears and talks to Paul about an an extermination. Meanwhile, We see an Asian man and a group of heavily armored men drop from the sky, landing almost as softly as feathers on to the sandy surface.
As Paul states that these armored men are picking off his family members one by one, audiences are treated to a close-up shot of the armor worn by some of the film’s combatants. Momoa advises his allies to fight like demons, which leads to an action montage of his character battling against a group of soldiers who are utilizing some of the same tech Paul and Brolin’s character were seen using earlier in the trailer. This is followed by one last shot of a plain-clothed Momoa stylishly slicing through an opposing soldier.
The mysterious older woman then tells Paul that “an animal caught in a trap would gnaw off his own leg to escape,” before asking the young man “What will you do?”
This moments ends with a shot of Paul with a weapon drawn as tells the character played by Zendaya, “I know you”.
What follows is another montage of scenes showing ships flying through the air with the ability to stop midair, a ship that looks like a dragonfly flying against an explosion, and people down below running only to get pushed back by a blast. We also get a shot of an extrememly obese man coming out from a mud bath, an incredibly worried Rebeca Ferguson walking down a hall, and Momoa and Paul giving a salute to each other with their specialized knives.
One Day, The Legend Will Be Born
Next, Brolin and Paul are seen barely hanging on to the outer ramp of an aircraft as they overlook an unidentifiable object being swallowed by the ground. There are also shots of the previously seen Asian man and a black woman walking down what appears to be the same hallway. The dragonfly aircraft is seen again, and it is revealed that the black garbed soldiers led by Dave Bautista are similary pale and bald in appearance to their leader.
There’s a shot of Oscar Isaac with a bloody hand print on his shoulder, which could depict a scene in which he is watching someone die in front of him. The trailer then cuts between Paul putting his knife against the neck of a black man, followed by more explosions, Momoa pointing his blade at something, and a shot of Zendaya with blue eyes.
Paul is then seen piloting some sort of craft through a dusty haze while uttering lines “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer,” followed by a shot of Momoa bowing to Paul and addressing him as Duke. The montage ends with Paul uttering the line “When the fear is gone, only I will remain.”
The trailer then presents a scene of the sand shaking and collapsing as something alters the landscape of a hillside. As someone shouts “Go, go, go,” two figures are seen running from the emergence of a giant creature from below the sand before one of the individuals turns to find themselves face to face with the series’ infamous sand worm.
Thankfully for fans of the book and the 1980s film who have been waiting for this new adaptation with baited breath, the imagery looks amazing thanks to the use of modern film making techniques.
However, the trailer also feels a bit ‘artsy’, like a trailer aimed at fans of Dune rather than at general audiences. Audiences most likely wanted to know about the world, get a glimpse of the feud between the Atreides and Harkonnens, and just find a reason to invest in the film aside from the appearances of its A-List cast members.
Personally, I approached this trailer as a newcomer to the franchise, and aside from Paul, I was unable to glimpse any of the characters names or walk away with a solid introduction to the world of Dune.
Though the film is slated for a December release, the continuing COVID-19 Pandemic could force the film to release sometime in 2021 instead.
What did you think about the Dune trailer? Does it make you excited or worried for the final product? Sound off in the comments below or let me know what you think on social media!