Prior to embarking on this issue, I’d never had the pleasure of tackling Frank Herbert’s vaunted sci-fi doorstop, ‘Dune’, but thought if there was any occasion to tick that planet-sized box, then the release of a big, new movie adaptation was it. I was about half-way in when the lure of this story became crystal clear – that is, why people have obsessed over it for nearly half a century, and also why it has been something of an untapped goldmine when it comes to big screen adaptations.
The story so far: Chilean cine-sorcerer Alejandro Jodorowsky discovered that his reach exceeded his grasp in his wild, eye-wateringly expensive attempt to film Herbert’s rich tome, while David Lynch delivered an enjoyably gaudy rendition of this laconic space opera in 1987 that ended up being sliced and diced by his producers and led the filmmaker to all but disown his work.
And now we’re back once more, as ‘Dune’ superfan Denis Villeneuve has earned enough tokens in Hollywood to fulfil a childhood fantasy and make a modern epic that does justice to Herbert’s densely layered and politically ripe narrative. This new issue of LWLies – our 90th! – jumps into a purring ’thopter and takes an aerial tour of the godforsaken plains of the desert planet Arrakis, with Timothée Chalamet’s spiritual messiah-in-waiting, Paul Attredes, as our guide. It’s a magazine for both the battle-hardened Dune-o-phile, and any newbies looking for an entry point into this enthrallingly complex world.
Order Your Copy
On the cover
If you hold Lola Beltrán’s extraordinary cover illustration up to the light, you’ll get a little surprise, as this issue comes with a bonus twinkle. The orange glow of the spice melange – the most valuable material in the Duneiverse – was the inspiration for the colour route of this cover, and the concept draws on Beltrán’s love of mid-century sci-fi imagery while also keeping a foot in the realms of the modern. The duel layer effect is a subtle hint at the man that this boy is set to become.
Illustrators in this issue include Alex Fine, Adriana Bellet, Emma Balebela, Nick Taylor and Rumbidzai Savanhu.
In this issue
Enter the Duneiverse
Tom Huddleston offers a whistle-stop tour of Arrakis through the ages, and the various iterations of Frank Herbert’s beloved book.
Anton Bitel talks big screens and small gestures with Quebec’s modernist sci-fi maestro, Denis Villeneuve.
Farewell My Concubine
Leila Latif meets one of Hollywood’s most wanted, Rebecca Ferguson, to chat about progressive interpretations of 1960s characters.
Timothée Chalamet in Five Acts
Philippa Snow deconstructs the image of the accidental idol across five of his recent starring roles.
Dune production designer Patrice Vermette discusses his dream mission.
Desert Movies: A Taxonomy