Ten interesting facts about the sci-fi epic 'Dune'

Still from Dune (Image via IMDb)
Still from Dune (Image via IMDb)

The highly-anticipated sci-fi epic Dune is all set to premiere across the globe this weekend. Compared to the entire scientific fictional universe, this movie is probably the most famous for being densely packed and super-specific with its world-building.

Dune is an adaption of the 1965 book series by Frank Herbert, which is one of the most influential books of the 20th century and is directed by Denis Villeneuve and roughly covers the first half of the book.

With a star-studded cast and an oscar-winning director, Dune is definitely a must-watch for everyone. The film is also a remake of David Lynch's 1984 film of the same name.

The official synopsis of Dune reads:

"Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, 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, only those who can conquer their own fear will survive."

Here are ten quick and interesting facts about Dune ahead of its release.

Ten facts about 'Dune'

1) 'Dune' was originally set to release as a series

Dune's TV series starring William Hurt (Image via IMDb)
Dune's TV series starring William Hurt (Image via IMDb)

Before getting published as a novel, Dune started in different segments. The two main parts, Dune World and Prophet of Dune, were divided into a total of eight sections which appeared in Analog magazine from 1963 to 1965. It later aired in 2000 and was directed by John Harrison.

2) Nobody wanted to publish 'Dune' the novel

The book was rejected by 23 different publishers and was finally picked up by a small Philadelphia-based firm known for car manuals, Chilton. Things worked out great for them, and Dune ended up selling over 20 million copies and was translated into 12 different languages.

3) 'Dune' was inspired by the moving sands in Oregon, multiple religions, and psychedelic mushrooms

Still from Dune starring Josh Brolin and Timothee Chalamet (Image via IMDb)
Still from Dune starring Josh Brolin and Timothee Chalamet (Image via IMDb)

When Frank Herbert learned how sand dunes in Oregon were killing off wildlife, he was intrigued and admired the beauty of the dunes, which later helped give him the sliver of inspiration to make the world of Arrakis.

The highly addictive material, melange, is the single most valuable commodity in the book and film, which is found only on the desert planet of Arrakis. Among its many wonders is increased longevity and, at times, the ability to see the future.

Frank Herbert openly admitted that the lifecycle of mushrooms influenced him and that they helped him come up with the concept of 'spice' in Arrakis. He was also influenced by both Zen Buddhism and the Christian Bible.

4) The first real draft for 'Dune' was 'Spice Planet'

There was a Dune before Dune where Herbert had toyed around with a Dune-like world in a story called Spice Planet. It was a short about a young boy and his father living in a world much like Arrakis. The overall plot was about addiction (spice), overthrowing aristocracy, and many aspects similar to Dune. However, it was shelved, and Dune ended up being published instead.

5) The book series was actually based on the political happenings in Iraq

Still from Dune starring Rebecca Ferguson (Image via IMDb)
Still from Dune starring Rebecca Ferguson (Image via IMDb)

In Dune, the wordplay and its meaning are the keys to the resemblance between the book/film and reality. Arrakis - Iraq, spice - gasoline, and universe - economy, basically what was happening in the Middle East during the 70s - The Gas Crisis. Not to forget the very Middle Eastern attire and names give a subtle nod to the real0life events.

6) An abandoned film adaptation of Dune was going to be scored by Pink Floyd and was going to star Salvador Dali


Would-be director Alexandro Jodorowski of the abandoned Dune film revealed that he wanted to make a movie that focused on the drug addiction culture and its aftermath but without hallucinating. If the movie had come to be, the great surrealist painter Salvador Dali portrayed Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, and Pink Floyd was approached for the soundtrack. Now that would've been some movie.

7) David Lynch's 'Dune' was as quirky as it could get

Dune 1984 starring Kyle MacLachlan (Image via IMDb)
Dune 1984 starring Kyle MacLachlan (Image via IMDb)

David Lynch released his version of Dune in 1984, and along with it came a glossary of the language used in the film. Around 1700 people were hired to make this movie, including workers whose job was to clean a large plot of the desert by hand.

8) The planets in the 'Dune' canon gave names to the low plains on one of Saturn's moons

Titan, Saturn's largest moon, has a shady-looking terrain called planitia or low plains named after Dune planets. The first one discovered is known as Chusuk Planitia in honor of the fictitious planet Chusuk.

9) The ships used in the upcoming 'Dune' are actually real

Still from Dune's trailer (Image via YouTube)
Still from Dune's trailer (Image via YouTube)

It was revealed that real practical effects created many ships in the movie by using gimbals on the highest hills in Budapest where the actors could sit inside their cockpits and be moved by the effects crew. The 'thopter' had the means to raise, lower, pivot, and rotate on an axis due to the gimbal, giving it a more natural feel.

10) Around 1,000 costumes were made for 'Dune'

The costumes for the movie were mainly inspired by Greek and Roman mythology and the tragedies in it. The stillsuits used in the film were created based on the live cast of the actors exactly why they are form-fitting.

Dune stars some of the biggest names in Hollywood - Oscar Isaac, Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Jason Momoa, and many more. The movie is all set to premiere on HBO max and release worldwide on October 22.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar