'Dune' Photo: Timothée Chalamet And Josh Brolin Take To The Skies

Director Denis Villeneuve's two-movie adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal science fiction novel Dune kicks off this December. While we haven't seen a trailer for the film yet, we're slowly getting glimpses of Villeneuve's take on this notoriously difficult-to-adapt material, and the latest Dune photo highlights one of the movie's action scenes. Read on to see Timothée Chalamet and Josh Brolin's characters making a daring escape above the desert planet of Arrakis.

Dune Photo

Empire Magazine shared this new image, which features Chalamet's young royal Paul Atreides being helped into an ornithopter by Brolin's Gurney Halleck, the Atreides family's loyal officer and weapons master who helped train Paul in the ways of battle. In the Dune novel, an ornithopter, or "thopter," is a small transport ship designed primarily for flying in planetary atmospheres. While it uses propulsion engines, it also has wings that flap to mimic the movement of birds which aided the vehicles' flying ability.

"It's Paul's first contact with the deep desert, where he's mesmerized by it," Villeneuve explained to Empire about this moment. "He has a strange feeling of being home. There's a lot of action at this specific moment, and [it's] one of the scenes in the movie that I'm starting to get pretty proud of." If I recall correctly, a battle breaks out at an outpost on Arrakis, and Paul and his mother, Lady Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) barely escape with their lives. From what little context we're given here, I'm guessing this photo depicts a portion of that escape.

Here's the movie's official synopsis:

A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, "Dune" tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Dune is currently slated to hit theaters on December 18, 2020.