Dune isn’t only beautiful people walking around in the desert. I mean, it’s mostly that. But author Frank Herbert’s text also touches on politics, religion, capitalism (not a fan!), and environmentalism. “Men and their works have been a disease on the surface of their planets before now,” a character in the 1965 novel says. “Nature tends to compensate for diseases, to remove or encapsulate them, to incorporate them into the system in her own way.” It was timely in the 1960s, when the book was published; it was timely in the 1980s, when David Lynch’s film came out; and, as Oscar Isaac explained in an interview with Empire, it’s timely in the 2020, months away from Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation.
“It’s about the destiny of a people, and the different way that cultures have dominated other ones,” the Inside Llewyn Davis star, who plays Leto Atreides, explained. “How do a people respond when it’s at the tipping point, when enough is enough, when they’re exploited? All those things are things we’re seeing around the world right now.”
Dune comes out a week before Christmas, on December 18, although that assumes Christmas actually happens this year. Not for COVID reasons, but because of the anti-capitalist uprising among teens that Dune, and specifically Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in Dune, inspires. That’s poor planning on Warner Bros.’ part, really.