Dune 2: Denis Villeneuve passed castings to grains of sand

Dune 2: Denis Villeneuve passed castings to grains of sand

The filmmaker, accompanied by his cinematographer, was particularly meticulous for this sequel…

As he finalizes the final details of the highly anticipated Dune Part 2, Denis Villeneuve detailed at Empire his particular way of choosing the best type of sand for his space opera.

Supported by cinematographer Greig Fraser and production designer Patrice Vermette, Denis Villeneuve spent hours in the desert to ensure that the sand matched perfectly with the light he wanted: “For my staging, I wanted a dune with a precise shape. But on the other hand Greig Fraser needed this same shape to have a specific light. (…) So Patrice spent weeks casting sand in the desert. We looked completely crazy!

Filming in the desert was grueling, but Villeneuve prefers to have fun with it: “I still find it in my shoes every morning. (…) We are traumatized by the sand, that’s for sure.”Patrice Vermette, the production designer, had spent months walking around with bottles filled with sand on the first film, in order to be sure that the color and texture matched between the Abu Dhabi desert and Wadi Rum in Jordan. But he had to start from scratch for the rest of Dune : “We did not reuse any place“, assures the director with pride. “We found completely new spots to tell our story this time.

Dune 2 will be more spectacular: Denis Villeneuve promises a breathtaking film

In the first part, Paul Atréides (Timothée Chalamet) helplessly witnessed the murder of his father Leto (Oscar Isaac) by the Harkonnens, their sworn enemies. Their narrow escape to the planet Arrakis with his mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), Paul is welcomed by the Fremen, led by Stilgar (Javier Bardem). These sand people, adapted to the inhospitable conditions of Arrakis, will constitute the resistance against the oppression of the Harkonnen.

Dune Part 2 will center around Paul’s rise as a resistance leader, his learning of the Fremen way of life and his romance with Chani (Zendaya) the daughter of Stilgar. With its cosmic-scale cast (Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken), Dune Part 2 saw its initial release postponed to March 13, 2024 because of the writers’ and actors’ strike.

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