See the first Dune trailer, plus everything else to know about Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic

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Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck and Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho in Dune.

Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Pictures

After Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villeneuve isn’t slowing down with the complicated sci-fi blockbusters. Next up: Dune. Adapted from the lauded book series by Frank Herbert, Dune 2020 should be very different from director David Lynch’s famously divisive 1984 adaptation.

Here’s everything we know about the new Dune, coming later this year. 

Who are the characters?

Timothée Chalamet stars as young antihero Paul Atreides. Oscar Isaac plays Paul’s father, Duke Leto Atreides. Rebecca Ferguson plays his mother, Lady Jessica. Actor Zendaya plays Paul’s love interest, a mysterious woman with glowing blue eyes named Chani. The two warriors Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho who end up training Paul in combat are played by Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa.

Stilgar, the leader of indigenous people called Fremen is played by Javier Bardem. Stellan Skarsgard plays Baron Vladimir — the leader of House Harkonnen from Arrakis that battles with the Atreides family.

Charlotte Rampling plays the reverend mother of an order of women called the Bene Gesserit who can read and control minds. Paul’s own mother Jessica is also part of the Bene Gesserit.

Sharon Duncan-Brewster plays an ecologist and an independent power broker Dr. Liet Kynes who tries to keep the peace.


Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides in Dune.

Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Pictures

What’s it about?

Paul Atreides grows up in an aristocratic family on the planet Caladan. But when Paul’s father Duke Leto Atreides accepts the job of supervising the dangerous desert planet Arrakis (known as Dune), everything changes in Paul’s life. So Leto brings his Bene Gesserit lover Lady Jessica, his son Paul and his advisers to Arrakis.


Oscar Isaac looking ready to battle as Duke Leto Atreides in Dune.  

Chiabella James

Arrakis is the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe called the spice (also called melange). Spice is really a powerful drug that can prolong human life and provide super-human mind control powers. The spice can enable intergalactic travelers to “fold space” — and travel faster than the speed of light.

However, this new job promotion could actually be a trap made by Leto’s enemies who want to be rid of him. Leto ends up clashing with the powerful criminal family known as the House Harkonnen, which is led by the monstrous Baron Vladimir who looks like a humanoid rhino.

Despite all the odds, Leto manages to take control of the spice mining operation. But his son Paul seems to be growing stronger with his abilities to see into the future, and it looks a bit grim. 

There is war ahead. Oh, and then there are those giant man-eating sandworms that make everything feel extra dire.

Here’s the official synopsis:

“A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.”

“As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.”