Started by Gates, Oct 17, 2007, 12:50:34 AM
Quote from: The Eighth Passenger on Aug 25, 2023, 08:55:39 AMI wonder if Napoleon's release date is going to swift as well? Haven't seen any indications yet and it's now three months out from release.Vanessa Kirby is British and Scott isn't busy with Gladiator so they at least would be able to participate in the press tour.Also less competition at the box office for Napoleon with Dunc II removed from the November slot.
QuoteWhen Dune: Part Two arrives, there's plenty for Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides to be worried about. For one, he's going to have to prove himself among the Fremen people, and not mess things up with Zendaya's Chani – his literal dream-girl. He's expected to try and ride a giant marauding sandworm in the Arrakis desert at some point. And he'll have to avoid becoming some kind of messianic dictator too, as war looms with the Harkonnens. As if that wasn't enough, this time he also has an assassin after him – enter Feyd-Rautha, the ferocious and unpredictable force that was, famously, rendered in 'Sting in a space-nappy' form in David Lynch's adaptation.Not here, though. In the second half of Denis Villeneuve's Frank Herbert adaptation, the fearsome Feyd-Rautha is played by none other than Austin Butler – shorn of all his hair, and firmly out of Elvis mode. It sounds like Paul will have his work cut out for him. "Austin brought something that is a cross between a psychopath killer, an Olympic sword master, a snake, and Mick Jagger," Villeneuve tells Empire in our world-exclusive Dune: Part Two cover story, promising a wild performance from the Oscar-nominated star. "He has tremendous sex appeal and charisma and madness. It's really out there."The bald-headed Butler isn't the only fresh face for Part Two – also joining the cast this time are Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, and Christopher Walken as the mysterious Emperor Shaddam IV. But perhaps most intriguingly, Léa Seydoux is on board as Bene Gesserit sister Lady Fenring – a character with a minimal presence in Herbert's book, but for whom Villeneuve has bigger plans. "I don't want to talk too much about Lady Fenring," he teases. "She's part of the spider web of the Bene Gesserit, but I want to keep the mystery around her." Either way, the secretive sisterhood is a key part of the director's fascination with Herbert's world. "My version of Dune is different because the thing that really seduced me about the book was the Bene Gesserit," he says. "My adaptation is more oriented toward their impact – they are the puppet masters of the universe!" You'd hate to be caught in their strings – especially with Feyd-Rautha gunning for you.
QuoteFrom the beginning, Denis Villeneuve's plan for Dune was to adapt Frank Herbert's original tome as an epic two-part movie experience. And thankfully, given the success of Dune back in 2021, he got the green light to complete his adaptation with this year's Dune: Part Two. So far, so good. But as Dune completists know, the story doesn't end there. Herbert continued the story of Arrakis in a series of subsequent novels, before his son Brian took over to continue it even further – and if Part Two performs well too, Villeneuve might not be done with the sand (or the sandworms) quite yet.Rumours have swirled that Villeneuve could be eyeing up more Dune for the big screen – and, as he tells Empire in our world-exclusive Dune: Part Two cover story, that is indeed the case. "If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream," he says. Part Three, then, would consist of Dune Messiah, Herbert's direct follow-up to Dune. "Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero," Villeneuve explains. "Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it's actually a warning." If it does happen, the Messiah-spanning Dune: Part Three would mark the end of Villeneuve's time on Arrakis. "After that the books become more... esoteric," he says.And while any future Dune sequels once again hinge on the box office results of Part Two, Villeneuve's plans for Part Three aren't just nebulous thoughts. "I will say, there are words on paper," he teases. Fingers crossed, there will eventually be images on a screen too.
QuoteFor the most part, Denis Villeneuve's take on Dune was everything fans of Frank Herbert's epic tome could ask for. Even though it only covered half of the original novel, he did justice to the fall of House Atreides, nailed the awe-inspiring heft of the sandworms, carefully lined up the cascading dominoes that fuel the swirling political plot – and even made it so that Spice was visibly glimmering in the air on Arrakis. But there was one detail from the novel that didn't make it to the screen first time around – and if fans were sad to miss it, Villeneuve was even sadder.That detail was, of course, the Baliset – the unusual musical instrument that's a particular favourite of Josh Brolin's warrior Gurney Halleck. While Villeneuve (and Hans Zimmer) gave us unexpected space bagpipes last time around, a scene shot for Dune in which Brolin's Halleck mournfully plucked at the Baliset's strings sadly ended up on the cutting room floor. But no more – speaking to Empire in our world-exclusive Dune: Part Two cover feature, the director confirms the Baliset is back, back, back in the follow-up. "The Gurney song survived Part Two!" he declares victoriously, the notion of bringing it to the screen clearly having played on his mind. "It became a weird priority for me. But Josh Brolin is a poet and we played it together. It was awesome."Just, don't go expecting the Arrakis equivalent of the Eras Tour. Though there is one set of characters rather more attuned to the hedonistic life: those dastardly Harkonnens. "If there's a party somewhere that you want to attend, it's on [Harkonnen homeworld] Giedi Prime," Villeneuve laughs. "These guys know how to throw a party, but they are not meant to be on Arrakis. They hate the planet, they hate the people, they're just there for the money. That's where their weakness is." Sign us up for Gurney Halleck smashing Baron Harkonnen in the face with his Baliset, then. (That's official Dune canon, right?)
Quote from: The Eighth Passenger on Sep 01, 2023, 05:36:51 PMhttps://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QR4krNJYZHk/WBpK5Nq1_RI/AAAAAAAARUA/Giny6-9ffkog1KxawWHhpY-Ee1YpdneuwCEw/s280/tumblr_o5x0ydsrUe1rtwmxqo2_250.gif
QuoteIn Frank Herbert's original Dune novel, the character Duke Leto Atreides is set up to fail. Awarded the mining rights to the arid planet Arrakis by a powerful emperor, and given a limited number of days to exploit them, Leto is sent to the desert essentially to die. And in the end, he should've known forces beyond his control were conspiring against him from the start.One wonders whether back in 1984 if David Lynch felt he could relate. An already impressive directorial talent behind intriguing films like Eraserhead (1977) and The Elephant Man (1980), Lynch was a 34-year-old wunderkind when he was tapped by producer Dino De Laurentiis to direct, and eventually rewrite, Dune as a sci-fi epic intended to rival Star Wars. Yet through the vicissitudes of fate—as well as budget, location photography, and post-production studio mandates—the film that reached cinema screens was a fraction of his sprawling vision. It was also summarily dismissed by the critics of its day, with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert placing it among their "Stinkers of 1984." Eventually, even Lynch took his name off an extended version (he had no editing oversight) when it was recut for television years later.Nonetheless, the film's legacy has endured for a small, dedicated, and growing subsection of cineastes and sci-fi enthusiasts. These fans see the larger esoteric vision of Lynch's singular interpretation of Herbert's novel; they appreciate the weird flourishes that no other filmmaker would dare with a mainstream property; and they recognize a masterpiece in disarray.Film journalist and author Max Evry believes that last bit so strongly, he made it the title of his book about Lynch's space opera, A Masterpiece in Disarray: David Lynch's Dune – An Oral History (for which, full disclosure, this writer participated in). Providing a panoramic view of the forces that transpired to make and unmake the film, the author likens his text to being both "an autopsy and a reclamation." And ahead of the oral history's release this week, Evry invited Den of Geek to glimpse one of the most curious elements that mutated during Dune's production: its ending.In the finished film, Dune does not so much end as it runs out of footage. The way it plays out is Kyle MacLachlan's boyish hero Paul Atreides, now with glowing cerulean eyes, defeats the film's villains, José Ferrer as Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV and the pop musician Sting as a spiky-haired youth in revolt. Paul is then crowned emperor of the universe while declaring he speaks with the voice of God. As he states, "One cannot go against the Word of God," the skies open and for the first time in Arrakis' history, rains fall from the heavens in such a deluge that the film's closing credits are set against footage of a sea's rolling waves—suggesting Paul's will turned Arrakis into a paradise. Paul's little sister Alia Atreides (Alicia Witt) even gilds the lily with the final line of the movie: "And how can this be? For he is the Kwisatz Haderach!"Dune ends on the literal declaration that Paul is a messiah who will bring peace and prosperity to Arrakis and the universe, and cuts to black before the characters (or the audience) have time to really process what just occurred. To call it a departure from Herbert's novel is an understatement. On the page, Paul's messianic complex is something to be feared, particularly in later installments of the literary series. He also cannot make it rain on command. However, as Evry reveals in both his book and in a new video he's assembled from early discarded storyboards on the production, it wasn't the ending Lynch wanted either...
QuoteAs you can see in Evry's above storyboard footage, Lynch's earlier vision for Dune was something altogether more metaphysical. He even storyboarded what might be best described as a spiritual awakening or epiphany, with the camera flying into Paul's eye (which we see briefly in the finished film), only to enter his mind's eye, which is a cacophony of surrealist imagery. The evolved (and deformed) Space Guild navigators we met at the beginning of the film, and which implicitly seem to control the galaxy (as it is they who control the emperor), are reduced to angelic maggots pouring from Paul's eyes; the faces of revelation appear to him in the countenances of Alia and his mother Lady Jessica (Francesca Annis) as they in turn are submerged into the water of his dreams; and finally at the end of it all, a glowing gold lotus flower promises serenity.Evry suggests this ending is truer to Lynch's artistic impulses, contrasting it directly to Twin Peaks, as well as a clearer example of what the auteur wanted to do with Herbert's novel."Just looking at the boards, it's very clear that this is a transcendental [revelation]," Evry says. "This is Paul transcending himself and all these disparate elements, like Jessica and Alia, and the navigators, and all this stuff coming together to turn him into what he is at the end of the film."Evry also notes the golden lotus flower, an important image in Herbert's second novel in the series, Dune Messiah, was crucial to Lynch's vision for the ending of the film. "In all the drafts of the scripts that I read, only a little bit [of the ending] goes in Lynch's scripts," Evry explains, "a little bit about the light going off into infinity and the golden lotus at the end. Almost every draft ended with the golden lotus, even to the point where it felt almost shoehorned into the last draft. When he had to make it rain, he makes it rain, and then you see a golden lotus. It's like Lynch was really trying to get this golden lotus into the movie. It was important to him."And yet, the golden lotus is not in the version we all know. Over the years, including in a new interview in A Masterpiece in Disarray, Lynch has distanced himself not just from the film's post-production, but the whole process of making Dune. He repeatedly has suggested the approach was compromised from the start. However, as the storyboards prove, he at least had grander ideas than what ended up on the screen. The reasons that finale, like so much else, was cut comes down to the movie running over-budget and its most hands-on producer, Rafaella De Laurentiis, parting ways with Apogee Inc., the special effects house headed by John Dykstra of Star Wars (1977) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) fame.Apogee had set up operation on Dune at the movie's production location in Churubusco, Mexico, where for three months the company constructed models, massive blue screens, and created numerous storyboards to Lynch's specifications. Yet at the eleventh hour, the De Laurentiis family decided to terminate Apogee's contract. Rafaela later told Starlog (via Masterpiece in Disarray), "It didn't work out because of the way [Dykstra's] operation works. I had no control over costs. I can't work unless I know where I'm putting my money... to know that if you spend those $10 on this, you'll get an effect on the screen worth $20."The storyboards Evry assembled in this video—placing them in an order based on their numbering and the author's own intuition—come from a book of Apogee effects storyboards that were auctioned off in 2021 and later placed on Amazon for wider distribution. While he cannot be certain, Evry believes most of them were sketched by Mentor Huebner, the famed storyboard artist whose work includes Blade Runner (1982) and The Thing (1982)."Cutting the video, you can see it," Evry says. "It almost looks like an animatic, the way he skillfully illustrated everything."While Huebner stayed on the production separate from Apogee, the loss of Dykstra's special effects company signaled the beginning of Dune's post-production woes. While a talented visual effects artist named Barry Nolan and his Van der Veer Photo Effects company was hired to replace Apogee, the guiding star on the film became doing everything as cheaply as possible.Looking back at those decisions nearly 40 years later, Evry says, "I think it was just the fact that they ate up a lot of the time and budget that they had working with Apogee and also making the rest of the film. Like the movie did go over-budget, and I think that cut into what they wanted to do with the effects, which is really shortsighted because, in a lot of ways, the movie sank or swam based on the effects."This led to the far more basic and straightforward ending which occurs in the film, although even that appears unfinished. When Paul summons the floods, for instance, you'll notice his mouth opens but no words or sound come out. That's because the scene was scripted for there to be a great wind emerging from his throat (hence why the other characters' hats and gowns begin blowing). Says Evry, "I guess they just ran out of money."Similarly, the entire third act climax was economized, with storyboards of the giant sandworms throwing their whole bodies against the shield wall and the emperor's golden-tented ship getting excised. The film's humbled ambitions can likewise be noticed in the scene where Duke Leto Atreides (Jürgen Prochnow) and Gurney Halleck (Patrick Stewart) speak of warning "the spotters" when watching an immense sandworm... but there are no spotters on the screen.It's worth recognizing, however, that none of these last-minute compromises affected what might be the ending's most glaring issue for fans of Herbert's novels: how it turned Paul into a true prophesied messiah instead of a young man who takes advantage of a religion to glorify himself. Herbert famously stated he wrote Dune, in part, to make readers wary of charismatic leaders (Herbert was a Republican speechwriter in the 1950s who had an intense dislike of John F. Kennedy). But the ending of Lynch's film turns Paul into Space Jesus. According to Evry, this wasn't always Lynch's plan, but commercial considerations were made early on to lean into the boy hero iconography."I think [Lynch] flirted with it," Evry says. "Certainly drafts of this script have almost the opposite of the ending we got. They have like an ocean of blood to signify the jihad that Paul has sparked. But then the ending slowly gets more and more spiritual, focusing less on the terrible thing that Paul has done." He ultimately concludes, "When you're trying to make a two, two-hour-and-change movie, the simplest way to go would be just to make him a real messiah."Still, Evry does not think the film's departures from the novel, or even Lynch's own distancing from it, should determine its legacy."There are so many Lynch fans out there who just dismiss it or see it as a footnote in Lynch's career," Evry says, "simply because he himself dismisses it. I mean, he has his own reasons to dismiss it, but he put his name on it; he spent three years making it; it is actually his highest-grossing movie still to this day. It deserves to be reckoned with as part of his canon."The author even compares it to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, except that Scott had the opportunity to reclaim his sci-fi cult classic after it failed at the box office by tinkering with it via his director's cut and eventual "final cut.""[Dune] could have been a real landmark movie," Evry says, "and it was thwarted at every turn during production, post-production, and then even after the movie was released. Universal had the chance to work with David and Rafaella, and make a true director's cut, and they just didn't want to pay David any money. And that's a lot of work. So I think they ultimately shot themselves in the foot, because when you look at what happened with Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, it was just as sort of hated and just as much a failure when it came out... If they afforded David the same luxury, we'd be having a different conversation right now. It would be just a masterpiece."Masterpiece in Disarray: David Lynch's Dune – An Oral History is on sale on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
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