Today, Warner Bros. revealed the first trailer for the hugely anticipated Dune. Based on the classic, beloved sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert, it boasts a stacked all-star cast led by Timothée Chalamet and featuring Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling and Stephen McKinley Henderson.
Perhaps best of all, it’s directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049), whose visual aesthetic has made him one of the most exciting and dynamic auteurs working with grand, epic sci-fi today. The trailer certainly shows it. Let’s look at some of the most beautiful shots from the first Dune trailer. I’ll do my best to not just screenshot the entire thing.
The First Shot Of Paul Atreides
Shooting in that perfect light of the Golden Hour never fails.
The Trademark Denis Villeneuve Silhouette Shot
Denis Villeneuve has has always loved himself the silhouette shot. In every movie of his, there’s at least one beautiful shot of the actors centered in darkness and backlit by an arresting background. This one goes to the destruction of House Atreides.
Case in point:
Paul Atreides Walking Along The Beach
So many naturally beautiful vistas in this movie. Consider the CG spaceships simply icing on the cake.
Paul Fighting With Gurney Halleck
Bit of a cheat as this isn’t so much a shot as a GIF, but still – that’s just a damned cool visual effect.
Sand. Just Lots of Sand.
“That’s literally just sand, Alisha,” you might be saying right. And, yes, correct. But can’t tell deny there’s not always something a little breathtaking about the clean starkness of a sweeping vista of sand dunes.
Group Silhouette Shot
The Sardaukar Lining Up
What can I say? I love a good unstoppable army/First Order kind of vibe in a shot.
Palm Trees On Fire As The Atreides Estate Burns
Considering what’s happening in California right now with the wildfires and that I live there, this one hit home.
Soldiers (Perhaps House Atreides?) Dropping Into Formation
If you thought Denis Villeneuve only did dark-on-light for his shots, you’d be wrong. His reverse shots of light-on-dark are just as beautiful.
The Repeating Vision Of Chani
Few directors play with light the way Villeneuve does. Most work around it and against it, but Villeneuve embraces it, incorporating it right into his visuals.
Space Battle Silhouette
You thought we were done with the silhouette shots? Fool!
The Escape Of Paul Atreides And Gurney Halleck
Even if you’ve never read the novel and have no context for what’s happening here (sandworm, it’s a sandworm), that’s a goosebump-inducing shot.
Another Shot Of Backlit Chani
It’s a simple shot but the composition of a backlit Chani, with the pop of bright blue from her trademark Fremen eyes is a summary of Villeneuve’s visual style: his most beautiful shots are often the most simple.
Sandworm! Sandworm! Sandworm!
It took Denis Villeneuve an entire year to perfect the design of Dune‘s iconic sandworms, and this shot shows dedication and time have paid off. For the first time, the sandworms are given the proper size and scale befitting such an integral part of the story.
Lordy. Even with the production losing six months thanks to the shutdown and Villeneuve hustling to finish post-production, it still looks beautiful.
At the moment, Dune is still scheduled to hit theaters on December 18th.