Denis Villeneuve’s Dune had its official world premiere here at the Venice Film Festival on Friday evening and had the Sala Grande reverberating like a thropter as it gave the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi classic a seven-minute standing ovation. Deadline was present and timed the applause, which ended only after the director humbly indicated that it was time to go.
In his review, Deadline’s Pete Hammond called the film a “spectacular and defining version of the sci-fi cult classic.”
The Warner Bros/Legendary epic, which is billed as Part I, played earlier in the day for the press — with delegates asked to seal their phones inside plastic pouches for the duration of the screenings. Villeneuve and cast sped onto the Lido today as well, with throngs of onlookers occupying every possible vantage point in the hope of catching a glimpse.
Those in town include Timothée Chalamet, who plays protagonist Paul Atreides, along with fellow stars Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård and Chen Chang.
A tale of warring families, inhospitable landscapes and giant creatures, Arrival Oscar nominee Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune splits the complex 400-plus-page novel in the middle, focusing the action in this first half on establishing the dense lore — and specifically on the young Paul, son of a ruling house whose fate the series tracks.
Warner Bros releases the film domestically on October 22 — day-and-date in theaters and on HBO Max — with international rollout beginning September 15.