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WIRE Buzz: First look at Dune; Gunn says Suicide Squad, Guardians 3 not delayed; more

By Josh Weiss
Dune logo key art

Behold! The Kwisatz Haderach has arrived in our very first look at Denis Villeneuve's all-star adaptation of Dune. Posted by Vanity Fair, the initial image from the film shows off Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) as the story's main hero, Paul Atreides, a royal native of the planet Caladan.

In particular, the photo below shows Atreides (looking a bit like Adam Driver's Kylo Ren) brooding on Caladan before his family moves to the desert planet of Arrakis (more commonly referred to as "Dune"), a desolate world that is coveted for its rich deposits of an addictive drug known as "spice."

A betrayal of Paul's parents, Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), thrusts the young protagonist into a galactic conflict of epic proportions.

Dune Timothée Chalamet

“The immediately appealing thing about Paul was the fact that in a story of such detail and scale and world-building, the protagonist is on an anti-hero’s-journey of sorts,” Chalamet told Vanity Fair. “He thinks he’s going to be sort of a young general studying his father and his leadership of a fighting force before he comes of age, hopefully a decade later, or something like that.”

Villeneuve's version will be the second big screen adaptation of the influential 1965 novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert. David Lynch (The Elephant Man) was the first filmmaker to commit Dune to celluloid, with Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) playing Atreides. The source material is famous for its ambitious mixture of lofty genre concepts and complex political intrigue.

Check out the official logo below:

Dune logo key art

Villeneuve was the perfect choice for directing this project after he breathed new life into Rick Deckard via 2017's Blade Runner 2049.

Dune was made by people from all over the world. Many of these people are like family to me, and they’re very much in my thoughts,” Villeneuve also told VF. “I’m so proud to showcase their hard work. I look forward to a time when we can all get together again as Dune was made to be seen on the big screen.”

Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem make up the rest of the movie's ensemble cast.

Dune arrives in theaters everywhere Friday, Dec. 18.

While most big budget studio releases are scrambling to find new theatrical release dates amid the global coronavirus pandemic, James Gunn isn't sweating the upheaval when it comes to DC's The Suicide Squad or Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Interacting with fans on Twitter, the writer/director/producer promised that there's no need to delay the rollout of his next two movies.

For example, The Suicide Squad (a project made possible by the filmmaker's temporary firing from Disney almost two years ago) is still on track to make its debut on August 6, 2021.

"Right now, there’s no reason for #TheSuicideSquad release date to move," Gunn wrote. "We are on or ahead of schedule. We were extremely fortunate to wrap shooting & set up editing from our homes (due to a post production team & studio with foresight) before quarantine."

Despite the fact that editing "has been pretty smooth in the time of quarantine," Gunn, who is working on a rough cut at the moment, added that the timeline for trailers and other promotional materials will most likely be affected by the virus.

The comic book film, which will offer up a sort of soft reboot of 2016's Suicide Squad, features another impressive cast of Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Steve Agee, John Cena, Storm Reid, Flula Borg, Nathan Fillion, Peter Capaldi, Pete Davidson, Alice Braga, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, and Taika Waititi. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, on the other hand, caught a lucky break, as it was originally going to be released this year. There's no word on when the threequel is set to hit theaters, but IMDB primes it for release in 2021. How such an effects-heavy movie is going to open next year when all productions have been shut down, is beyond us, especially after the MCU calendar shift, which didn't even mention Guardians of the Galaxy.

Nevertheless, Gunn says: "Right now the plans with Vol. 3 are also exactly the same as they were before coronavirus."

During a recent watch party on Twitter, the filmmaker promised that the origins of Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) would play a big part in the story for Vol. 3.

After the success of Kingdom, Netflix is once again relying on South Korea for quality zombie content.

According to Deadline, the streamer has placed an order for All Of Us Are Dead, an upcoming series based on the webtoon entitled Now At Our School. The program is said to follow "a group of high school students who are faced with an extreme crisis situation when they become trapped in their school, while a zombie virus spreads like a wildfire."

Chun Sung-il has been tapped to write, while Lee JQ and Kim Nam-su handle directorial duties.

A few weeks back, Netflix announced a seriously stacked slate of originals from South Korea.