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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

When the fear is gone, only this trailer for Denis Villeneuve's Dune will remain

Illustration for article titled When the fear is gone, only this trailer for Denis Villeneuve's Dune will remain
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

The first trailer for Dunc Dune has arrived (not that David Lynch cares), offering our first look at what has the potential to become Hollywood’s next blockbuster franchise. After all, Arrival director Denis Villeneuve isn’t just splitting the first book of Frank Herbert’s sprawling sci-fi series into two movies—“The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details,” says the filmmaker—but he’s already developing an HBO Max spin-off series, Dune: The Sisterhood, about the Bene Gesserit, the book’s mysterious order of women. With or without Villeneuve, it seems like the property is here to stay.


It helps, too, when you’ve got a cast as white-hot as this one. Timothée “Sad Boy” Chalamet stars as protagonist Paul Atreides, while the supporting cast is rounded out by heavy hitters like Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, and Dave Bautista, all of whom have blockbuster franchises under their belts.

All of them are also on display in the epic trailer, as are some gargantuan sandworms that look pretty fucking incredible. Check it out:

“No matter what you believe, Earth is changing, and we will have to adapt,” Villeneuve has said of the film’s current resonance. “That’s why I think that Dune, this book, was written in the 20th century. It was a distant portrait of the reality of the oil and the capitalism and the exploitation—the overexploitation—of Earth. Today, things are just worse. It’s a coming-of-age story, but also a call for action for the youth.

Here’s a synopsis:

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

You can also watch a new cast Q&A led by Dune-head Stephen Colbert below. It’s relatively unremarkable, as these things tend to be, but it offers even more looks at each of the individual characters. 


Dune is slated to hit theaters on December 18.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.