First Look: Timothée Chalamet as Atreides from the upcoming ‘Dune’ adaptation. I fuck with it, but I also don’t know ‘Dune’
Hey! Here’s an official glimpse at Timothée Chalamet as Atreides from Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation! Now, I’ve never read the book, so I’m not an expert. That said, I fuck with this photo.
The first step of a hero’s journey sometimes begins with a push.
At the start of Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic Dune, the young royal Paul Atreides prepares to leave the comfortable life he knows for a desolate, dangerous mining planet known as Arrakis, where his wealthy family will oversee extraction of a spice vital to the galaxy.
If he only knew the chaos and death that awaited him, he might be even more sorry to leave.
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This is the first look at Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides on his native planet of Caladan from this December’s film version of the novel, directed by Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. The 1965 book was so seismic in its influence that its echoes still turn up in sci-fi and fantasy storytelling half a century later. Still, it has stubbornly defied appropriate adaptation itself.
Tomorrow, Vanity Fair will provide an even more expansive exploration of Villeneuve’s quest to bring Dune to the screen, but today we begin with the central hero: Paul Atreides, a child of privilege raised by a powerful family, but not one strong enough to protect him from the dangers that await.
As the Atreides family leaves the oceanic world of Caladan to take over scorching Arrakis, they are also becoming prey to the brutal rival House Harkonnen, which seeks to exploit the desert world they are about to inherit. House Atreides is just one more part of the landscape to annihilate.
“The immediately appealing thing about Paul was the fact that in a story of such detail and scale and world-building, the protagonist is on an anti-hero’s-journey of sorts,” Chalamet said.
In other words, he’s not dreaming of adventure. He’s resisting it. Afraid of it.
“He thinks he’s going to be sort of a young general studying his father and his leadership of a fighting force before he comes of age, hopefully a decade later, or something like that.” Chalamet said. But fate has a different timetable for him. And he may possess powers even his trainers could not anticipate.
In the shot above, the transport ships descend to take the Atreides leadership to their new destination. At this point, Paul is being taught the ways of war by a veteran soldier named Gurney Halleck, played by Josh Brolin. Paul’s parents, Duke Leto and Lady Jessica Atreides (Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson), must not only manage the spice mining on Arrakis—but also the politics at play in the broader galaxy.
Beyond the fortifications on Arrakis, giant carnivorous sandworms rule the landscape, while a tribe of indigenous humans known as Fremen, led by Javier Bardem’s Stilgar, somehow survive in the crevices, fearful that their world is about to be turned inside out by those they see as invaders.
Dune, still set to open on December 18, is one of the blockbusters that hasn’t yet shifted back due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Dune was made by people from all over the world. Many of these people are like family to me, and they’re very much in my thoughts,” Villeneuve said. “I’m so proud to showcase their hard work. I look forward to a time when we can all get together again as Dune was made to be seen on the big screen.”
For more on Dune, see Vanity Fair on Tuesday.