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19 Interesting And Amazing Facts About "Dune" That Make The Movie 100x Cooler

A dune of dope facts.

Denis Villeneuve's Dune is set to bring Frank Herbert's novel to life. Whether you're new to the lore, or a longtime fan, this film looks to be an epic generational staple for the future.

Warner Bros. Pictures / Via

So let's dive straight into the 19 interesting and amazing facts that make Dune 100x cooler:

1. The movie is based on the first half of a stellar science fiction novel, Dune. It was written by Frank Herbert and came out in 1965.

Frank Herbert attends the 1984 "Dune" premiere.
Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

2. The title comes from the sand dunes on the beach near Florence, Oregon.

A sandy and grassy beach.
John C Magee / Getty Images

Herbert was roaming around the dunes for a story he was doing on the US Department of Agriculture's plan to "stabilise the shifting sands by introducing European beach grass." It was then he got the idea to develop a story where ecology too plays an important role.

3. Denis Villeneuve wanted to make the film with strong female characters. The screenwriter Eric Roth asked him, "What would be the most important thing that we should bring upfront in this adaptation?” He answered, "Women."

4. The character of Dr. Kynes was modified in the movie. In the books, Dr. Kynes is a white male, but in the movie, Dr. Kynes is a Black woman.

Dr, Kynes standing in a desert.
Warner Bros. Pictures / Via

5. It took three and a half years and approximately $165 million to make this movie.

6. Making the Dune movie was a longstanding dream of Villeneuve. In fact, he wanted to make this movie ever since he first read the book when he was 14 years old.

Villeneuve looking into the camera.
Steve Jennings / Getty Images

7. The successful direction of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 gave Villeneuve confidence that he was experienced enough to tackle an ambitious project like Dune.

Villeneuve in a black blazer.
Tim P. Whitby / Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images for Warner Bros

Since the past two attempts of adapting this book for the big screen had failed spectacularly, Villeneuve didn't want to take chances with this one. He said, "Once I did Blade Runner, I had the chops, skill, and the knowledge to be able to tackle something that was this big of a challenge. I knew that I was ready to tackle this. I knew that I was able to do it.”

8. While working on Blade Runner 2049 with Zimmer, Villeneuve talked about his teenage dream of making a Dune film, and Zimmer immediately hopped on as he, too, was a big fan of the book.

Rick Deckard in "Blade Runner 2049."
Warner Bros. Pictures

9. Hans Zimmer is such a big fan of the book that he declined to work on Tenet with his longtime collaborator Christopher Nolan and chose to score Dune.

Hans Zimmer smiles.
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

This was the first time since The Prestige that Nolan's movie wasn't scored by Zimmer.

10. Hans Zimmer has also composed a second soundtrack for the movie. He wrote original music for The Art and Soul of Dune, a making-of book written by the movie’s executive producer, Tanya Lapointe.

Hans Zimmer at a movie premiere.
Ian West - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images

This is the first time he has written original music for a literary work.

11. Dune's cinematographer, Greig Fraser, won an Emmy for The Mandalorian. He is also working on the upcoming superhero flick The Batman.

Greig Fraser in a grey blazer.
Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

12. Denis Villeneuve didn't conduct auditions for the role of Paul Atreides. He handpicked Timothée Chalamet for the role.

Timotee Chamalet poses for the camera.
Ian West - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images

Villeneuve said, "He has an insane charisma. Timothée has been gifted by the gods of cinema."

13. As soon as Chalamet got a whiff that the Dune movie was finally happening, he set up a Google alert for the movie and then went to Cannes to meet Villeneuve.

Timotee Chamalet shows off his fashion.
Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

He stated in an interview, "I can’t pretend that I was sitting there evaluating whether I wanted to do this or not. It’s very obvious, just the opportunity to work with Denis. I’m a huge fan.”

14. Josh Brolin, who worked with Villeneuve on Sicario, signed up without reading the script. “I think I pretended to read it” is how Brolin recalls things.

Josh Brolin in a black suit.
Daniele Venturelli / WireImage / Getty Images

15. The production designer of Dune, Patrice Vermette, used Google Earth to shortlist locations for shooting the scenes set on the desert planet Arrakis. Deserts in Iran, Chad, Mauritania, and Libya were some of the locations shortlisted.

Patrice Vermette poses for a picture.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

16. They finally settled on the famous Wadi Rum valley in Jordan (which was also the shooting location for Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian).

A rocky landscape in a desert.
Michele D'amico Supersky77 / Getty Images

17. But Wadi Rum posed a new problem. It lacked dunes! So the crew "collected samples of sand from Jordan in water bottles so they could match its color to another location." This brought them to the vast and desolate desert of Rub’ al Khali in Abu Dhabi.

Car driving through Rub al Khali Desert (Empty Quarter - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates)
Achim Thomae / Getty Images

18. The set of the movie was built at Origo Studios outside Budapest. It was so large that Rebecca Ferguson kept getting lost.

Rebecca Ferguson in a black gown.
Jeremy Chan / Getty Images for TIFF 2021

19. The movie had its official world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it received a mind-blowing seven-minute standing ovation.

The Academy Awards / Via