Where the first trailer for director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was portentous and light on dialog, heavy on atmosphere that evoked the mystery of the grand sci-fi world he was trying to create, today’s lengthy second trailer (3.5 minutes!) really dives into the meat of the classic sci-fi story. Here, we’re really getting to properly meet characters like young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), his father the regal duke (Oscar Isaac), his cooly intimidating mother (Rebecca Ferguson, perfectly cast) and his deadly bodyguard/trainer Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa). We’re seeing far more action in general, hinting at the massive clash between the Atreides clan and the Harkonnens to come.
We’re also seeing glimpses of the way that Warner Bros. is trying to sell Dune to a wider audience that isn’t terribly familiar with author Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi setting, a desert planet where incredibly valuable “spice” is mined to keep galactic affairs moving. There are flashes of unexpected humor here, and one has to wonder whether that’s really indicative of the tone of Dune, or simply something to make the trailer go down a bit easier for the uninitiated. Regardless, some of the stately production design of Villeneuve’s own Blade Runner 2049 is on display, along with a returning Dave Bautista, playing a considerably less empathetic character this time around.
Dune is scheduled for a big premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 3, 2021, followed by a simultaneous theatrical and home streaming release on HBO Max in the U.S. on Oct. 22, 2021. We’re hoping and praying that the current upswing in COVID-19 cases will have leveled off by then, because for many viewers, Dune will be the kind of cinema experience that absolutely necessitates seeing the film in a theater. Check out the sprawling new trailer below.