Masala: Step Into the World of Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Adaptation

After almost a year of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” has finally touched down.

The two-and-a-half-hour-long epic hit the big screen and HBO Max this past Friday, Oct. 22. Directed by Villeneuve and starring Timothée Chalamet, the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s notoriously sprawling sci-fi classic follows the Atreides family as they struggle to quell an interplanetary war over a valuable natural resource. Since its premiere, “Dune” has been praised for its skillful worldbuilding and faithful incorporation of aspects from the beloved novel.

Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Atreides matriarch Lady Jessica, shared her thoughts via Zoom on the film’s long-awaited premiere. She explained that Villeneuve’s iteration of “Dune” straddles the line between a niche work of cinematic art and a large-scale, blockbuster movie made for mass consumption. “A film like ‘Dune’ I feel has a foot in both worlds,” she said. “That is why I’m so in love with the film. The human aspect of the conflict that we go through, the decisions we have to make, the hurtfulness—and then we’re just thrown into these enormous landscapes where the environment can eat you up in a second, which creates that mass studio emotion, but on such an indie level.”

Ferguson’s castmate Dave Bautista credited that duality to Villeneuve’s attention to detail and the vast scope of his filmmaking. “I think it is about living in the moment and kind of bouncing off your peers and being sucked into this world that’s been created for us,” said Bautista, the force behind the malevolent Glossu Rabban Harkonnen. “I think Denis is a master at creating that environment; I think he creates environments for performers to bring out the best in them and just stick them there in that moment and be true to who those characters are.”

Watch the full conversation with the cast and Villeneuve above, then check out “Dune” to see what we’ve all been waiting for!