It’s been almost a year since the release of Dune, the 2013 film adaptation of Kevin J. Anderson’s multi-million selling Dune books. While the film itself wasn’t perfect, it was generally well-received by audiences and critics alike. In the years since its premiere, fans of the genre have been patiently waiting for the next film adaptation, with director Robert Pattinson finally returning to the fold with the second installment in the Dune series, Dune 2.
Dune 2 continues the story of Leto Atreides, son of the legendary Duke Leto Atreides, and Gia, his wife, as they fight for control of his family’s destiny and the future of the human race.
Although it was originally reported that the film was going to be called Dune: Heretic Kingdoms, the final title was changed to more accurately represent the plot of the story. And it’s a good thing that it was changed, as the working title of the film was initially going to be “Heretic Kingdoms”, which is an extremely vague title that will almost certainly open up the possibility of the film being mistaken for a historical epic about the unification of Germany in the 1870’s.
The film is set to premiere in theaters on Christmas Day, but in the meantime, we’ve been able to get an early look at the film and its spectacularly beautiful costumes, and we’ve decided to spoil you with the details.
The Costume Designer
If ever there was a designer who can make or break a fantasy film, it’s Robert Pattinson. Although the actor generally plays characters with less fanciful wardrobes, in the past he has brought a dash of whimsy and color to every film he’s appeared in. And it seems like that trend is continuing with Dune 2.
The first thing you’ll notice about the main characters is how beautifully they’re dressed. Even though they’re walking through what appears to be a desolate desert landscape, the costumes look as if they’ve just come straight out of a luxury boutique, and that’s partly thanks to the work of costume designer Anna B. Sheppard. And it’s not just the characters – the costumes for the various species in the film are breathtaking as well, especially the desert-dwelling humans, which are almost as vivid as the actors wearing them.
If ever there was a movie that was worth waiting for, it’s Dune 2. The long development cycle was undoubtedly worth it, and the finished film is looking and feeling fantastic. After initially struggling with low budget concerns, the studio behind Dune, Legendary Pictures, was able to secure enough money in order to produce a spectacular looking film. And, as a result, the movie certainly doesn’t look like it was made on a shoestring budget.
The biggest takeaway from this latest episode in the Dune saga is that it proves that, even when a movie is essentially a sequel, it can look and feel completely unique from its predecessor. While Dune was heavily inspired by the 1975 classic Conan the Barbarian, Dune 2 looks like it was influenced by everything from Mad Max to The Hunger Games.
There are a few reasons why Dune 2 was able to pull this off. For one thing, while the original film was largely set in the desert, the sequel is set in an icy tundra, which is an extremely different landscape. And while a lot of the original film’s clothes were practical and based on the era it was set in (the ‘70s), the sequel’s wardrobes are more of a blend of the ‘70s and the ‘80s, with a heavy influence from the Mad Max movies.
The costumes in this movie are stunning, and that’s largely thanks to the work of the costume designer. As we’ve established, Pattinson is excellent when it comes to dressing fanciful characters, and that talent was put to good use as Mrs. Atreides sported some of the most stunning dresses in film history. While the film is set in the future, it nonetheless hearkens back to a simpler time when men were men and women were women – and more importantly, when dressing up was not just a hobby but part of everyday life.
It’s not just the sets and costumes that have been beautifully crafted, the actors as well have delivered some great performances. This film really does work as a stand-alone, even though there is a briefcase-full of backstory delivered by Shailene Woodley. While the majority of the film is told through flashback, it nonetheless stays relatively clear of the convoluted mythology that has become so prevalent in the genre.
This is partly thanks to the performances of the cast. In addition to returning players Pattinson and Woodley, the list of stars includes a familiar name or two and a whole host of newcomers. The greatest thing about this cast is that, even though they are from varied backgrounds, they all seem to click within the confines of this film, and that’s testament to the talent of the director.
The music in this movie is absolutely fantastic. If you’re a fan of classic movie scores, this is the next film you need to see. The majority of the songs are originals written and composed by Italian maestro Ennio Morricone, and while there are a few familiar songs from the ‘70s, they’re all blended together seamlessly into one epic score.
Morricone’s work on this score is nothing short of spectacular. The legendary composer has become more prolific in his later years, but this is certainly his most ambitious project yet. The soundtrack is available for purchase now, and it’s well worth it. It would be a crime to listen to this music and not want to go see the movie immediately.
If there’s one thing this film is, it’s ambitious. Set to premiere on Christmas Day, it’s likely that most fans will be surprised by how similar this film is to the preceding one. That being said, it’s still possible to have a unique experience, even if you know the general plot. While there are certainly shades of the first film, this one definitely works as a separate entity, blending together elements of a variety of different genres and fusing them into one cohesive work of art.
There’s a lot to love about this film. From its stunning costumes and sets to its amazing score and soundtrack. It might not be for everyone, as it veers sharply from the norm, but for those who can appreciate great cinema, it’s an absolute must-see.