Actor Oscar Isaac has made his name in a variety of films, but truly became a global Hollywood superstar when he was cast as Poe Dameron in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. However, even though the trilogy is complete, this won’t be Isaac’s last dip into science-fiction.
The actor will appear as Duke Leto Atreides in the highly-anticipated Dune, based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name. The upcoming movie, directed by Blade Runner 2049’s Denis Villeneuve, has a large ensemble cast and is purported to be the first half of a two-part adaptation.
The original Dune novel was the first major installment of a larger episodic saga and helped launch the modern science-fiction genre as it is known today. Reader’s Digest listed it as one of the best-selling sci-fi books of all time and called it a direct precursor to Star Wars.
While considering Dune a direct precursor is debatable, it was unequivocally one of George Lucas’ biggest inspirations, and he borrowed a number of aspects from the novel when formulating his ideas for Star Wars: A New Hope. Everything from a teenage boy on a desert planet to an evil space-wide empire can be seen in both mediums, and Frank Herbert even accused Lucas of copying him at one point.
Despite this, though, Isaac doesn’t feel that it is fair to compare the two franchises, at least when it comes to the films. In an interview with Total Film, he stated that, while the pair undoubtedly have some similarities, they contain totally different messages:
"Sure, there’s also some spaceships [laughs]. But that’s really about where the similarities end. [Dune’s] not a typical sci-fi film. It has elements of that, but it’s also a meditation. What Frank Herbert did, and then Denis as well, is to explore those themes of family, of the clashes of cultures, and just put it on a stage that allows you to dream with it."
Isaac also mentioned that he had no reservations about switching from the Star Wars franchise to Dune, because, as he puts it, “the genre of it is not as important to me. It’s about who I’m working with, and what’s the story that we’re telling?”
This is not the first time that Dune has been put onto the screen. A planned movie was scrapped in the 1970s, and there is also an adaptation released in 1984 from David Lynch. However, the upcoming film has a significantly larger budget, and with modern CGI and effects, will surely look to wow audiences when it finally arrives.
From the way that Oscar Isaac is talking about the film, it will definitely not be something that Star Wars fans or sci-fi fans in general will want to miss. Dune is currently slated for an Oct. 22, 2021 release in theaters and HBO Max.
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