Denis Villeneuve’s Dune reboot will honor everything in Frank Herbert’s original 1965 novel, says star David Dastmalchian. The MacGyver and Ant-Man and the Wasp star previously worked with Villeneuve on Prisoners and Blade Runner 2049 and news of his casting in Dune broke back in February. He’ll play Piter De Vries - a Mentat, which in the weird and wonderful world of Dune is a person able to mimic the cognitive abilities of computers. In Herbert’s novel, Piter serves main antagonist Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who’s played by Stellan Skarsgård (Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron) in Villeneuve’s adaptation.
For the uninitiated, Herbert’s Dune centers around a desert planet called Arrakis where warring groups come to blows over a valuable drug informally known as "the spice." Twin Peaks creator David Lynch previously directed an adaptation of Dune that has grown a cult following since its 1984 release. Unfortunately for Lynch, his version of Dune was critically panned and one main fault fans of Herbert’s book found with the film was its lack of fidelity to the original work.
According to Dastmalchian, lack of fidelity won’t be an issue with Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation. In an interview with CinemaBlend, the actor assured fans of Herbert’s original book that Villeneuve’s movie will be far more faithful:
“I can’t really discuss much about the script or the plot itself, but I can just tell you that that old phrase ‘True to the spirit’ or ‘honoring the spirit of’, and to be quite honest I haven’t even seen the most recent of the script, but in the way Denis has talked about the film and what I’ve seen, it’s absolutely true to and in honor of everything that Frank put into the novel. And translating something from novel form to cinema form requires a lot of mastery as storytellers go, and I think there’s no one better for that job than Denis.”
Dastmalchian also expressed his admiration for Villeneuve in the interview, calling the Oscar-nominated director “one of the greatest filmmakers of our time.” It seems he’s rather fond of his fellow cast members too, who he described as “awesome” and alongside Skarsgård currently includes Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy, Call Me By Your Name) as main protagonist Paul Atreides, Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame, Deadpool 2) as Paul’s mentor Gurney Halleck and Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Addams Family) as Paul’s father Leo Atreides, the ruler of Arrakis.
As for Dastmalchian’s role, it certainly seems like he’s done his research. According to the actor, he’d previously read Herbert’s original Dune and has revisited the book several times since he was cast in Villeneuve’s film. And like the film, Dastmalchian promises his character will be faithful to Herbert as well:
“The Piter De Vries that I’m playing I hope will resonate with and reflect the Piter de Vries that people who loved the books associate with.”
From what’s been revealed so far, Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune is shaping up to be an epic movie. Considering the film’s production company Legendary has already stated they plan to make at least one Dune sequel, there’s plenty of scope for Villeneuve to make a movie that’s more true to the world created by Herbert. Fans will find out just how faithful a film Villeneuve’s Dune is when it’s released in November 2020.
- Dune (2020) release date: Dec 18, 2020