The journey of the Dune franchise from Frank Herbert’s initial inspiration to the upcoming Denis Villeneuve film is almost as epic as the novel itself. It has taken nearly 70 years and one failed feature film attempt to get to this point, so understandably, diehard fans can’t wait to see if this upcoming movie will faithfully live up to the legendary source material.
However, if this is the first time you’re hearing of Dune — or you’ve only learned of it through the recent marketing campaign — you might be wondering what all the hype is about. Here are the key items you need to prepare for the release.
Why is Dune important?
Dune is considered one of the most influential works of science fiction ever written. It contains a level of worldbuilding that is rarely matched in a genre that is based on worldbuilding. And, contrary to many other books about the future, Dune focuses on humanity, politics, culture, religion and ecology rather than technology. The story takes an in-depth look at how humans and their institutions might change by the year 10,191. Dune made such an impact on the science-fiction world that it inspired a broad span of works ranging from SpongeBob SquarePants to Star Wars. There is even a line of Dune-themed Funko Pop! toys.
A brief summary of Dune
Dune is an epic tale that touches upon many themes. One of the most prominent is the notion of free will versus fate. The protagonist of the story is Paul Atreides, a young nobleman who is gifted with an uncanny foresight. Ironically, Paul has a destiny that is seemingly beyond his comprehension.
Born on a lush oceanic world, Paul travels to the desert world of Arrakis (Dune) on a hero’s journey to ensure the future of his family and his people. Besides being a harsh and inhospitable desert planet, Dune also is the exclusive source of the most precious spice known to man. This resource is capable of not only extending life, but also unlocking humanity’s greatest potential. However, only the individuals who can vanquish their fears will survive.
The inspiration for Dune
In 1957, Frank Herbert was working on an article about stabilizing the Oregon Dunes. Though the article was never completed, it inspired the writer to research ecology and deserts. During his research, Herbert realized that desert environments have given birth to several major religions. The author combined his research with his interest in messiahs, and his belief that feudalism was a natural condition for humans, to write what would years later become Dune.
When is “Dune” coming out?
Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” will be released in theaters and available on HBO Max on Oct. 22. The film, which cost $165 million to make, has a running time of 2 hours and 35 minutes. This adaptation only covers the first half of the book. If the movie is successful, there will be parts two and three; current plans are for Dune to become the next mainstream science-fiction franchise.
What you need to prepare for the “Dune” movie
Complete Dune Series Set (6 Books)
You don’t have to read the books before seeing the movie. However, watching the movie may inspire you to want to learn more about Dune. This is the complete collection of all six original Dune books.
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“Dune: The Graphic Novel: Book 1”
If you prefer a quicker read, this graphic novel was adapted by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson and illustrated by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín. The cover art was created by Bill Sienkiewicz.
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McFarlane Toys Dune Paul Atreides Action Figure
McFarlane Toys is a trusted name in collectibles. This 7-inch action figure features Paul Atreides in a Fremen Stillsuit. It comes with a crysknife, twin blades and a base.
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