Denis Villeneuve Shares Storyboards For Dune From His Childhood

Since Dune hit theaters to rave reviews, its writer and director Denis Villeneuve has been blessing fans with behind-the-scenes tidbits, and he shared a particularly interesting one recently. In an interview, Villeneuve showcased a scan of a storyboard he and a friend made for an imagined film adaptation of Dune as a young teenager.

Dune, Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic 1965 sci-fi novel of the same name, was released in October this year. It's the third big-screen adaptation of Herbert's seminal work, following on from David Lynch's much-maligned 1984 film and John Harrison's 2000 miniseries. Villeneuve was signed on to direct in 2017 and the movie was a real passion project for him. He signed on with the understanding that his adaptation would split the book into two films, with the reception to the first dictating whether the second would go ahead. Luckily, it was well-received by critics and fans alike, and a sequel has been given the green light, and production on Dune 2 starts next summer.

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Villeneuve is a filmmaker who is famed for having a very thorough approach to storyboarding his features, meticulously planning each shot. For Dune, Villeneuve reportedly spent months with storyboard artist Sam Hudecki dreaming the visual progression for the story. Now, Villeneuve has revealed how far back his storyboarding method goes, as he recalled in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter his desire to tell stories in a visual way as a child while lacking access to camera equipment. These storyboards for Dune were created with his friend and artist Nicolas Kadima after the two had just discovered and become obsessed with Herbert's book. “Nicolas was a very good artist, so he did the drawing, and I would tell the stories," Villeneuve said.

The images storyboarded look as though they depict Dune's primary protagonist, Paul Atreides, calling a sandworm of Arrakis. This is particularly interesting in the context of Villeneuve's description of the length it took to perfect the sandworms in Dune. Clearly the meticulous storyboarding of his youth was useful here, as he told how he and his crew spent a year designing the look of the iconic creatures. Dune's production designer, Patrice Vermette, even commented that “Denis has different storyboard options for every scene, and he lives with those up on his wall during preproduction," adding that he will experiment with all elements until he knows he has it completely correct.

The childhood storyboards shared by Villeneuve are just further proof of what a lifelong dream it clearly was for the director to adapt this book, and is poignant when also paired with the scenes Villeneuve would have wanted Herbert to see that he also recently shared. With the first film widely praised and having won the difficult-to-get stamp of approval from fans, the second film is hotly anticipated, especially since the director excitedly shared how he expects it to be "an amazing playground," and a "cinematic treat." With Villeneuve's proven record of perfectionism, fans can trust this will be true.

Dune: Part Two is set to release in theatres in October 2023.

MORE: Dune 3 Can Fix The Usual Problem With Trilogies

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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