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Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ reprised adaptation of Dune, a beloved sci-fi and coming-of-age novel by the late Frank Herbert, attracted attention and praise after its nation-wide theatrical release on Oct 22.

Dune stars Oscar-nominated actor, Timothée Chalamet, as Paul Atreides, the young son of a fictional duke, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, who is unreadily thrust into a position of power on Arrakis, an external planet that is under invasion by outside forces in search of the planet’s highly valued spice. With an impressive history of work on critically acclaimed films such as Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name (2017), Greta Gerwig’s Little Women (2019), and David Michôd’s The King (2019), Chalamet is perceived as one of his generation’s most promising actors. Chalamet’s performance in Dune only contributes to his impressive list of accomplishments. According to i-D Magazine, “Chalamet’s range and ability to portray a whirlwind of feeling — the kind with many footnotes — is arguably most evident in his performance in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Chalamet builds up to protagonist Paul Atriedes’s subtle but gutting sensitivity quietly and gradually.” 

    As reported by Variety, Dune impressively opened to a $40 million dollar debut this weekend, and is expected to top $220 million dollars globally, establishing its box office rank as #1. The film shared its release date with director Wes Anderson’s 10th film, The French Dispatch, which Chalamet also stars in as Zeffirelli, a precocious student in a 20th century French city.

    The cast and crew kicked off their series of Dune premieres with an exclusive screening of the film at Venice Film Festival on Sep 3. Chalamet and co-star Zendaya, who portrays Chani in the film, and is prominently recognized for her Emmy award-winning performance in HBO’s Euphoria, flaunted a sparkly sequined jacket by Haider Ackermann and a custom-made Balmain gown, respectively, on the red carpet. The duo continued to take the fashion world by storm as they strutted carpets alongside castmates Jason Mamoa, Rebecca Ferguson, and Javier Bardem in London and Paris, both renowned fashion capitals. 

    As Chalamet and Zendaya went on a series of press tours, participating in interviews for Buzzfeed and Complex News, and appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, they quickly became fans’ favorite pair of best friends. 

    On her newfound friendship with Chalamet, Zendaya told E! News about the tight bond they formed while shooting the film in the deserts of Jordan. “Immediately, I was like ‘Oh, we’re going to be best friends for life. Like, this is happening,” said Zendaya.

    Their friendship seemed to make the film more attractive to fans. “[I wanted to go see Dune] because I love Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya,” said sophomore Brooke Simpson. “They definitely made me want to see the movie because I am not usually interested in science fiction.”

    Simpson was one of many fans who watched the film on its opening night. She took the initiative to watch it in IMAX after the film was praised by cast, crew, and critics for its compatibility with the IMAX cinematic experience. Also amongst a crowd of opening night IMAX moviegoers was junior Sophia Osorio.

    “I think [watching Dune in] IMAX enhanced [the experience] because it made you feel as if you were inside of the movie,” said Osorio. 

    Junior Jonathan Mason, a longtime fan of the original Dune novel from 1965, watched the film on HBOMax. On the streaming service, the film was available for viewing a day prior to its theatrical release. 

    “I think watching it in IMAX would’ve allowed me to see some of the details a little better,” said Mason. 

    On Tuesday Oct 26, it was announced that a sequel to Dune was greenlit by Legendary and Warner Bros. Chalamet confirmed the news and shared his excitement for the film’s second part through an Instagram post with three blushing emojis.

    Dune Director Denis Villenueve released a statement expressing his gratitude for the greenlight. “I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with Dune: Part Two. It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. This is only the beginning,” said Villenueve.

    The second installment is anticipated to be released in October of 2023 and will follow the release of Chalamet’s next project, Wonka, where he portrays a young Willy Wonka in a prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    “[I am looking forward to the sequel] because they ended the movie on a cliffhanger, and I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next in the story,” said freshman Hallis Morris. 

    In an interview for the Director’s Cut podcast, Christopher Nolan, director of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, sat down and conveyed his admiration for Villeneuve and his work on this project. 

    “I think this film is going to introduce a whole new generation of fans to Dune who have never read the book and perhaps will go and read it now,” said Nolan. 

    “I did not read the book before watching the movie, but I think I would go back and read it to get a better understanding,” said sophomore John Bransford. 

    Nolan continued to praise Villeneuve saying, “I think it’s an extraordinary piece of work. I’ve had the luxury of seeing it a couple of times now, and each time I watch it I discover new things, new details to the world. The way in which it’s made is absolutely for the big screen. It’s a real pleasure and a real gift to film fans everywhere — and thank you very much for that, Denis.”

    Nolan also directed Interstellar, another project Chalamet starred in. Interstellar racked up a total of five Academy Awards in 2015 for best visual effects, best original score, best production design, best sound mixing, and best sound editing.

    With awards season right around the corner, Dune is paving its way as a contender for a variety of categories such as best cinematography, production design, costume design, score, and best director.

    “I think [Dune’s] cinematography [is worthy of an award] because it was just beautiful,” said Bransford. Bransford watched the film in IMAX on opening night.

    Such high acclaim for the futuristic blockbuster after the opening weekend alone is an auspicious preview into what future Dune installments have to offer. The anticipation for Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two has already begun.