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Javier Bardem and Denis Villeneuve in Dune (2020) Image Credit:

While Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ is still set for a December 18 release this year, the director says it’s going to be no easy task to get the sci-fic epic adaptation ready on time.

“I was planning to go back and shoot some elements later because I wanted to readjust the movie. I needed time. At the time I didn’t know that it would be a pandemic… as we were about to go back to do those elements,” said Villeneuve in an interview while promoting the Shanghai International Film Festival. “The impact was that it crushed my schedule right now. It will be a sprint to finish the movie on time right now, because we were allowed to go back to shoot those elements in a few weeks…it meant also that I have to finish some elements of the movie, like VFX and the editing, being in Montreal as my crew stayed in Los Angeles.”

Villeneuve also said the biggest challenge on working on ‘Dune’ during the pandemic has been the edit. “As a director there are things that can be done remotely to deal with technology. The supervision of VFX with some equipment is easy to do from afar but, editing, for me, the big lesson from this is I thought it would be possible to edit at a distance,” he said. “With my editor [Joe Walker] sharing equipment, being afar from the [one another], but I realise how much editing is like playing music with someone and you need to be in the same room. There’s something about the interaction, human interaction, the spontaneity, the energy in the room. I really miss not being in the same room as my editor….it’s very, very painful.”

But fans should be happy to hear that Villeneuve has nothing but high praise for his lead star Timothee Chalamet, who plays the young Paul Atreides in ‘Dune’.

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Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson.

“He is a phenomenal actor. He is someone that has a lot of depth, someone that is very mature for his age because Paul Atreides is an old soul in a young body, and Timothee has that… Also, he has features that remind me of old school Hollywood stars. He’s a real movie star. He has that insane charisma. Insane charisma. You put Timothee in front of a camera and it’s an explosion,” said the director.

Villeneuve is the latest in a long line of directors to try his hand at adapting Frank Herbert’s iconic 1965 sci-fi novel.

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Sharon Duncan-Brewster.

Villeneuve is adapting the original novel by splitting it into two parts, but there’s yet to be any official information on when the second film will release.

Apart from Chalamet, the film featuresacting heavyweights like Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem and Sharon Duncan-Brewster.

The first trailer for ‘Dune’ reportedly drops on August 12, alongside the re-release of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’ in select theatres across the world.

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Jason Momoa.