Early viewers heap praise on Dune 2020

Image: Dune/Universal Studios
Image: Dune/Universal Studios /

As we anxiously await a trailer for director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune movie — which is set to hit theaters this December —  a lucky few have already seen some early footage. That includes sci-fi/horror novelist Brian Clement, who even enthusiastically tweeted about the what he saw…before his tweets mysteriously disappeared. You think Warner Bros. didn’t approve?

Happily, you can still see the text of the tweets on Movieweb, which gives us something to work with. As is always the case with test footage, the special effects were not done, but that didn’t stop Clement from heaping praise on the film. “I’m not exaggerating when I say a lot of people will have goosebumps/tears when they see this movie (I might!). Heck, when they see the footage I saw they will.”

"As a follow-up re my opinion on new Dune based only on the footage I saw (since people are curious), I think this will blow people away the way LOTR did 20 years ago, the way Star Wars did 40 years ago. It’s not Jodorowsky or Lynch, but maybe Villeneuve has filmed the unfilmable."

David Lynch adapted Frank Herbert’s sci-fi masterpiece back in 1984, and cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky unsuccessfully tried to make a version before that. A lot of people have been drawn over the years to the story of Paul Atreides, the noble scion of a great house who finds himself mixed up with the Fremen people of the planet Arrakis, or Dune.

"Something else I’ll mention re: the Dune footage we were shown: there were wide shots of a group of people I at first thought were members of the Spacing Guild, but then Rabban was among them so I think they were Harkonnens because they all had similar costumes and makeup"

That would be the brutal Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, a baddie played by Dave Bautista in the movie. Bautista was one of several cast members interviewed as part of whatever footage Clement saw. Others include Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Harkonnen, and Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho. This thing is stacked with stars.

Clement also said that people would be surprised by the choice of actor to play Liet Kynes will surprise audiences. We’ve heard rumblings that the role of Liet Kynes might be gender-swapped, so maybe this is what Clement is referring to.

Anyway, Clement seemed to get that he may have jumped on the tweets pretty soon after making them. “Apparently I’m now privy to a bunch of secret info from the new Dune?” he wrote. “I had no idea it was that secret. There’s no way they can keep a lid on it for long though.”

Well, not with your help, no.

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