Warner Bros. released the first official trailer for Dune yesterday. I watched it. Although it is a nice looking trailer, I am still not convinced it will be a great movie or worth going to a movie theater to see.
The book in which the movie is based on and shares a name with is a science fiction masterpiece. Written by the late Frank Herbert, it was first published in two separate serials in Analog magazine in 1965. It shared the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1966. It also won the first-ever Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1966.
I first learned of the book when I was very young. I do not remember when it was exactly, but it was around the time I was learning to read. It had to be sometime in the early 1970s. I saw a copy at the Quartz Hill Public Library, and it immediately drew me in.
The art, in retrospect, was quite cheesy. I was drawn to it because it seemed to take place in a desert. I lived in a desert. The people on the cover wore capes. I liked capes. I didn’t understand why it showed giant earthworms, but I was intrigued. I then opened the book. I quickly realized it was not for kids. The book not only contained no pictures, but the words were tiny and packed close together.
I would have to wait to read this book.
Dune (the book) is a masterpiece
I eventually read Dune. I also read Children of Dune and Dune Messiah, the next books in the franchise. Even though there are other books after Dune Messiah, I decided not to read them. As I said earlier, Dune is a masterpiece. Children of Dune was not as good as Dune. Dune Messiah was not as good as Children of Dune. I discovered a pattern. I theorized that if I kept on reading the Dune books, with each sequel demonstrably inferior to its predecessor, I would quickly hate the entire franchise. I did not want that to happen, so I quit.
That is not to say I will not ever go back and read all of the books. They may still happen. Late last year, I bought Dune: Deluxe Edition.
It is a beautiful book. Like a lot of the books sitting on my shelves, I have not gotten around to reading it. Or, in this case, re-reading it. Not only do I love to read science fiction books, but I also love to buy science fiction books. Sometimes these two interests intersect. Sometimes they do not. I have books on my shelves I bought years ago that I have still not read.
Just because a book is excellent does not mean a movie based on it will be great
Take, for example, Ready Player One. It was a fantastic book. The movie, based on Ready Player One and directed by Steven Spielberg, was a miserable piece of garbage.
If one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived cannot make a decent movie based on a popular book, why do other filmmakers even try? Do they think they are better at their craft than Steven Spielberg?
One recent exception to this rule is The Martian. It was a superb book, and it was successfully made into a brilliant movie. I loved the book. I loved the movie.
Back to this newest Dune movie
The book was already turned into a terrible film in 1984. I fail to see why the world needs another terrible Dune movie. Denis Villeneuve directs this upcoming version.
The last film he directed was Blade Runner 2049. I do not think anyone will ever accuse Blade Runner 2049 of being a better film than the original Blade Runner. I found it to be boring. Maybe the unnecessary sequel to Blade Runner was bad because Denis Villeneuve was preoccupied with thinking about how awesome his Dune movie was going to be, and because of that, half-assed Blade Runner 2049.
If you want to watch the official trailer of Dune, here it is: