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“They need to make the four-to-six hour version of the first half”
TOTAL FILM: Move over, Snyder Cut – Dune star Jason Momoa wants to see the Villeneuve Cut. Based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, Villeneuve had over 400 pages of complex source material to adapt, and Momoa would like to see it in all its glory.
“It was a cool movie. You know what they need to do? They need to make the four-to-six hour version of the first half,” Momoa told The New York Times. “It’s like, ‘Let’s watch the four-to-five-hour movie like a TV show; I can choose when I want to watch the whole thing.’ I want to see Denis’s whole vision. I don’t want it to be trimmed.”
The movie focuses on a planet called Arrakis (also known as Dune), the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe – a drug called ‘the spice’ that extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought, and makes faster-than-light travel possible.
Oscar Isaac plays Duke Leto Atreides, the man in control of Arrakis, while Timothée Chalamet is his son Paul. Momoa plays Duncan Idaho, one of Duke Leto’s right-hand men. After a bitter betrayal, Paul must seek refuge among the Fremen, the native people of the planet who live in the desert – one of these people is Chani, played by Zendaya. Oh, and throw some dangerous giant sandworms into the mix, too. Alongside Momoa, the all-star cast also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, and Javier Bardem.
Dune is released in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22. In the meantime, check out our list of the best sci-fi movies of all time.
This interviewer really ticked him off. I’ve never seen Jason get mad in a review.
NEW YORK TIMES: A decade ago, the action star Jason Momoa seemed to emerge fully formed into the public consciousness as the magnetically imposing chieftain Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones.” The truth, of course, is that his breakthrough came only after a long, hard slog through the Hollywood hinterlands. Lately, Momoa, who is 42, has been taking on the perhaps even harder challenge of expanding that initial impression. To that end, Momoa, who played the lead in “Aquaman,” tested his acting chops alongside the likes of Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem and Timothée Chalamet in the director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel “Dune,” which is due out in October. Before then, in late August, Momoa will star in the Netflix thriller “Sweet Girl,” which nods to big-pharma corruption amid its hard-boiled milieu, as well as the second season of his Apple series, “See,” a family drama dressed in bloodstained, post-apocalyptic clothing. “I’m finally getting to play characters with depth and color,” Momoa says, speaking over Zoom from London, where he was shooting an “Aquaman” sequel. “It’s been a long road, bro.”
I’m curious to hear your perspective on superhero movies. People love them, obviously, but you also get things like Martin Scorsese saying they’re closer to amusement-park rides than cinema. These are films made with a focus on sales, but how much room do you feel you have to also make them artistically credible?
It’s like how people say that music is poppy and this music cool. But you know how hard it is just to get your music out there for people to hear? It’s all subjective. I try not to pick on anything. So, yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they’re like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments. And, gosh, you’re taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You’re taking away visual effects, you’re taking away what you can do with makeup. I’m not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about. I have a vision for the whole totality of “Aquaman.” There are environmental issues that I get to put into it. So while you’re going, “Oh yeah, it’s just this popcorn movie,” I’m like, “Well, I get to open people’s eyes to things that are important to me.”
In my reading of your career, it seems as if it wasn’t until you played Khal Drogo and had a clear persona that the starring roles started coming. Does that jibe with your experience?
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Last September, the first trailer to Dune was released to much fanfare. Ten months later, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi adaptation is back after a long delay as COVID-19 upended the theatrical marketplace. Timothée Chalamet stars in Dune as Paul, heir to House Atreides.
The new trailer opens with Chani (Zendaya) narrating a look at her desert planet, Arrakis, explaining how the empire has exploited the planet for its natural resource known as Spice, and how her people have fought back. Spice is needed to conduct interstellar travel, making it the most valuable resource in the known universe. The film sees House Atreides — led by Leto (Oscar Isaac) — take stewardship over Arrakis.
Dune, from Legendary and Warner Bros., is part one of a planned two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic novel, which is credited with inspiring works such as Star Wars. It also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgard, as the villainous Baron Harkonnen. Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth penned the script.
In addition to the film, Dune is being spun off as a TV show. Dune will debut in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 22.