Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.
Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.
Image: Warner Bros (Vanity Fair)

The hero of the dunes is rising, but he may not be ready for the path laid out in front of him.

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This morning, Vanity Fair shared the first look at Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve’s Duneplaying Frank Herbert’s young Paul Atreides, whose great destiny may very well end up being his downfall. In a debut photo from the Warner Bros. film, we see Chalamet as Paul Atreides on his native planet of Caladan as a pair of transport ships arrive to bring him to his new home, Arrakis (otherwise known as Dune). Here’s the full image.

Ships in the air.
Ships in the air.
Photo: Warner Bros. (Vanity Fair)
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Unlike Arrakis, which is essentially a giant desert with little water, the place Paul Atreides comes from is cold, damp, and comfortable. Full of water. It represents the stark contrast between Paul’s old life and his new one, which will see him rise as the savior of Dune’s people, the Fremen. But it’s not your typical hero’s journey, as Chalamet explained in an interview.

“The immediately appealing thing about Paul was the fact that in a story of such detail and scale and world-building, the protagonist is on an anti-hero’s-journey of sorts,” he said.

Dune also stars Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson as Paul’s parents, Duke Leto and Lady Jessica, who are heading to Arrakis to take over the planet’s spice mining trade from the covetous (and gluttonous) Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård). Following a great betrayal, Paul finds himself in the company of the Fremen, including tribe leader Stilgar (Javier Bardem) and the fierce warrior Chani (Zendaya), who Paul later enters a relationship with. Together, they battle House Harkonnen and change the fabric of the universe forever. For better...or worse.

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Dune is still set to come out December 18, for the time being. It’s one of the only major 2020 blockbusters whose release date hasn’t been changed because of the covid-19 pandemic.


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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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