Oscar Isaac says Denis Villeneuve's new 'Dune' movie is 'shocking, scary and very visceral'

Tom Beasley
Oscar Isaac attends a special fan event for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' on December 11, 2019. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)

Oscar Isaac has praised director Denis Villeneuve’s new vision for adapting Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi Dune, dubbing the new film “shocking, scary and very visceral”.

Isaac is due to star in the ambitious blockbuster as Duke Leto Atreides, who accepts control of the planet Arrakis — also known as Dune — at the beginning of the story.

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He told EW that the new adaptation is a “wholly different thing” to previous film versions of the Herbert text, including David Lynch’s divisive 1984 take.

“I couldn’t imagine anyone more suited for the tone of the original Frank Herbert novels than Denis,” Isaac said.

Denis Villeneuve during the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival 2018. (Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “There are some things that are — for lack of a better word — nightmarish about what you see.

“There’s just this kind of brutalist element to it. It’s shocking. It’s scary. It’s very visceral.”

Dune focuses on the power struggle for control of Arrakis, which is the only source of “melange”, also known as “the spice” — a drug which extends and enhances human life.

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At the centre of the struggle is the feud between Isaac’s character and rival dynasty patriarch Baron Harkonnen, portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.

The rest of the cast includes such huge names as Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Zendaya and Jason Momoa.

Jürgen Prochnow as Duke Leto Atreides in the 1984 adaptation of 'Dune'. (Credit: Universal)

Villeneuve is best known for his work at the helm of intelligent, high-concept blockbusters including Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival.

He was nominated for Best Director for his work on Arrival, which starred Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.

Read more: Villeneuve says Dune will go back to original book

Villeneuve is also set to direct an adaptation of Jo Nesbø's crime novel The Son once his commitment to Dune is over.

Dune is expected to be a two-part adaptation, with the first part due to arrive in cinemas on 20 November 2020.