When director Denis Villeneuve decided on adapting the complex, massive, sophisticated original 1965 novel Dune into a movie, the decision was full of challenges. The novel, penned by Frank Herbert received a great reception from the readers worldwide. The director wanted to bring a quality blockbuster on the large screen for a larger audience. It is not wrong to say that he successfully materialized his vision, and Dune became one of the most celebrated movies of the year.
The film tells the story of the Atreides family, sent by the galactic emperor to a dangerous desert planet, Arrakis, which is also the source of the most valuable substance in the universe. The story highlights the fights between powerful clans that control the supply of Melange, the spice that allows the humans to navigate through deep space.
More About the Premise of Dune
Dune follows the story of Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalamet, a young man living thousands of years in the future in space. He is blessed with incredible intelligence and many other special abilities. Paul travels to the most dangerous planet in the universe to keep his family and people safe against dark forces. The plot entertains many mind-blending elements, including powerful drugs allowing for manipulation of time, terrifying sand worms lurking under the desert landscapes, and much more.
The movie is a two-part film with an impressive star cast. Besides Timothee, it also features Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, and Jason Momoa.
Such an intriguing plot of the movie demanded the shooting at visually appealing locations, and to create such a visually arresting world, the makers did not rely wholly on standing sets. They filmed the movie in some real locations instead. The shooting of different parts of the film is carried out at multiple locations, Norway, Jordan, Budapest, the United Arab Emirates, and other parts of the Middle East.
Listed below are all the details of the filming locations of this movie.
The first part of the movie takes place on the planet Caladan. The shooting was carried out in Stadlandet in Norway.
Also known as Stad, this place is a peninsular in the Stad Municipality in the northwestern area of the Nordfjord district. It is in Norway’s Vestland County. The region is a 500-meter-high mountain plateau overlooked by a 645-meter-tall summit, Tarvaldsegga Peak.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
The movie features some beautiful red-rock desert scenes. Most of these were filmed in the mesmerizing Wadi Rum in southern Jordan.
Also known as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum is the largest valley or dry riverbed. It is best known for its connection to a British officer, T.E. Lawrence, who used it during the Arab Revolt. This valley is often touted as a hub of breathtaking desert scenes.
Other movies that have been shot in the same region include Lawrence of Arabia, The Martian, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Aladdin, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The rise of the Skywalker.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Many Dune scenes were filmed in Liwa Oasis, Abu Dhabi, in the UAE. The golden sands of Abu Dhabi have been featured in many movies. The environment was beautiful but equally challenging for the cast.
In one of the interviews, the lead actor quoted, “I remember going out of my room at 2 am and it being probably 100 degrees”
Besides choosing the real locations to make the shots more worthwhile, some scenes in the movie were shot at the film studio too. The director chose Origo Film Studios in Budapest, Hungary, to carry out the shooting.
It is the same studio that has been a shooting space for many other blockbuster movies in Hollywood, including Blade Runner, Terminator: Dark Fate, and Hercules.
What Influenced the Architectural Style of the Movie?
Many architectural styles presented in the movie influenced the look of Arrakeen, including World War II Bunkers, Egyptian and Aztec Pyramids, Mesopotamian ziggurats, and Brazilian architecture. Some styles were also inspired by Italian 1960s and 70s design collectives. It took seven months of concept work to bring the desired style to the movie.
Know These Interesting Facts about the Movie
Here are the interesting facts about the movie you would love to read.
The Inspiration for the Title
The inspiration for the title of the movie came from the sand dunes on the beach near Florence, Oregon.
One Character was Modified
The character of Dr. Kynes in the movie was modified a little bit. In the novels, Dr. Kynes is a white male. But the makers swapped it with a Black female in the movie adaptation.
One of the Most Expensive Movies
Filing Dunes was not very easy. It took the makers three and a half years to complete this movie. The budget of the movie, too, went sky-high. By the end, the whole budget reached $165 million.
The Dream of the Director
Making this movie was a longstanding dream of Villeneuve. The director wanted to make this move since he was a child and first read the book.
You Will Not Find a Notable Character in the Movie Adaptation
Dune was earlier created by David Lynch and later by Villeneuve. In Lynch’s adaptation, Sting plays the character of Feyd-Ratha. But you will not find this character in the new Dune at all.
When the Release Made the Director Unhappy
The release of the movie was messy and it did upset the director to a great extent. The release was originally scheduled for November 20, 2020, and it was pushed back a couple of times. It eventually landed on October 22, 2021. It was also announced that the movie would be released simultaneously on HBO Max. The director did not welcome this decision.
Part II is Happening
When the movie was first announced, Dune Part II was not officially greenlit. But after looking at the response to the first part, the announcement of the second part happened. The movie is currently scheduled for a release in October 2023.
The Cinematographer is an Emmy Winner
The cinematographer, Greig Fraser, is an Emmy winner for The Mandalorian. He is also working on the upcoming superhero flick, The Batman.
When the Movie Received a Standing Ovation
Dune was officially premiered to the world at the Venice Film Festival. The makers were on the top of the moon when it received a seven-minute-long standing ovation.