At the start of Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic Dune, the young royal Paul Atreides prepares to leave the comfortable life he knows for a desolate, dangerous mining planet known as Arrakis, where his wealthy family will oversee extraction of a spice vital to the galaxy.
If he only knew the chaos and death that awaited him, he might be even more sorry to leave.
This is the first look at Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides on his native planet of Caladan from this December’s film version of the novel, directed by Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. The 1965 book was so seismic in its influence that its echoes still turn up in sci-fi and fantasy storytelling half a century later. Still, it has stubbornly defied appropriate adaptation itself.
Tomorrow, Vanity Fair will provide an even more expansive exploration of Villeneuve’s quest to bring Dune to the screen, but today we begin with the central hero: Paul Atreides, a child of privilege raised by a powerful family, but not one strong enough to protect him from the dangers that await.
As the Atreides family leaves the oceanic world of Caladan to take over scorching Arrakis, they are also becoming prey to the brutal rival House Harkonnen, which seeks to exploit the desert world they are about to inherit. House Atreides is just one more part of the landscape to annihilate.