Dune full trailer reveals character details and worldbuilding

A new full trailer for 2021's Dune feature film has been released, with brand-new details about the major characters and the worldbuilding in the classic science fiction space opera.

After the first trailer for the science fiction epic Dune was met with a lukewarm response, Warner Bros. Pictures has released a meatier full trailer.

Zendaya as the Fremen's Chani in 2021's Dune. Images: Warner Bros. Pictures

The 3-minute preview of the newest interpretation based on Frank Herbert’s most popular sci-fi series of novels reveals new character and plot elements, as well as how the movie differentiates from earlier works, namely the 1984 film that was helmed by David Lynch. Check out the details of the major characters and worldbuilding in the upcoming grand space opera below.

Dune full trailer details

The new trailer opens with visions of Chani (Zendaya) and the landscape of Arrakis. We find that the visions are from the dreams of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), heir to one of the Great Houses that comprise the empire of the known universe.

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The trailer provides brief looks at the main plot threads, with the reigning head of House Atreides, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), in the middle of the political and military intrigue against House Harkonnen, the Spice Guild, and the Emperor himself.

Official title of the upcoming Dune film.

The story then progresses to the training of Paul under Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) and the supervision of Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), all the while being observed by the Bene Gesserit sisterhood of which Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) hails from.  Meanwhile, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) plots to destroy the House Atreides and claim sole stewardship of Arrakis.

As Duke Leto attempts to create an alliance with the Fremen, the natives of Arrakis, House Harkonnen strikes, leaving Paul and Lady Jessica to find their destiny in the sandy dunes of Arrakis. For it is only on Arrakis that the coveted spice can be found. It is through the spice called mélange that lifespans can be prolonged and psychic powers are unlocked, notably the ability to traverse the far reaches of space, defying the laws of physics.

Character and worldbuilding

Much of the main plot of Dune is consistent with the book, as well as later attempts such as the aforementioned David Lynch-directed film and the 2000 miniseries. However, there are some new elements being explored that were only briefly hinted at in prior efforts.

Duncan Idaho  and Chani, in particular, appear to have a bigger roles in the film, likely due to the star power of Jason Momoa (Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) and Zendaya (Spider-Man: No Way Home), respectively. Idaho and Paul's friendship is explored in more detail, as well as the strong bond between Paul and his father, Duke Leto.

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The trailer reveals a closer connection between Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa).

The trailer also provides a better look at the set design and technology, including the crafts and costumes of the cast. The suits used by the militia are of particular interest, as these have been given a more Iron Man-style, power armor look and functionality (complete with retractable helmets and face plates. There is also a grander scale to the scenes, with more epic presentations that are clearly inspired by similar science fiction films such as Star Wars. Even the iconic sandworms that populate Arrakis and the source of the spice melange have newer designs, particularly with their inner teeth and skin texture.

Dune's fierce and deadly Fremen warriors now sport powersuits in battle.

According to the official synopsis of the upcoming Dune feature:

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.

Aside from the trailer, moviegoers in the U.S. had the opportunity to watch the first 10 minutes in IMAX preview events.

Delays in production and release

The film was pushed back from its original production and release in December 2020 due to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

The iconic giant sandworms of Arrakis have also been given an updated look.

Another factor to the delay is director Villeneuve’s resistance to making the film only available as an HBO Max exclusive. With the grand scope of the film as the trailer has shown, it does warrant a full theatrical treatment. Other directors such as James Gunn (The Suicide Squad) have expressed their displeasure at such a limitation for their film’s release. The compromise of having it both in theaters and through the HBO Max streaming service was eventually reached.

Produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, Dune is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049). Starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Chen Chang, and Babs Olusanmokun, Dune releases on October 22, 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.