dune score

Aside from John Williams, Hans Zimmer is in a rarified group of modern film composers who have celebrity status and widespread recognition based on their names alone. Zimmer is an Oscar winner who’s crafted scores for films like The Lion King, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Inception, and dozens more, and now he’s adding another sci-fi notch to his belt: Zimmer will provide the Dune score for Denis Villeneuve‘s upcoming movie adaptation of the classic Frank Herbert novel.

Production has begun on the new movie, and a press release confirms Zimmer’s involvement, gives us our first official synopsis, and teases that a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actor may be joining this film’s already-stacked cast.

Zimmer is a welcome addition to this edition of Dune, since he’s a modern master who can potentially give this sci-fi stunner a memorable score. When Dune was made into a movie back in 1984, the pop band Toto and ambient artist Brian Eno handled the music duties, and you can decide how well that worked by listening to it below:

Meanwhile, Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners) has gathered a tremendous cast here and now Chang Chen – who played the romantic desert bandit Lo in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – is in talks to join them, adding yet another sexy performer into this mix. Here are the actors who are already on board: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. Is Villeneuve trying to destroy the internet by bringing all of these people together in the same place? It’s like that old Saturday Night Live sketch where Horatio Sanz begs Chris Kattan (as Antonio Banderas) not to take off his shirt because it’s “too sexy!”

A couple other things worth mentioning: acclaimed actor Stephen Henderson has officially joined the cast. (You may remember him as Denzel Washington’s character’s friend in Fences or as a priest in Lady Bird.) Also, prolific sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson has been hired as a creative consultant. Anderson co-wrote the Dune prequel novels with Frank Herbert’s son, so he has a deep understanding of this mythology.

On the crew side, we knew that Greig Fraser (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Zero Dark Thirty) was going to be the movie’s cinematographer and that Villeneuve would be reuniting with his Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 editor Joe Walker, but now we have a better idea of the industry veterans he’s gathered to fill out the rest of the major crew positions:

  • Three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (The Revenant, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Quills) and co-costume designer Bob Morgan
  • Stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception)
  • Two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (Arrival, Sicario, The Young Victoria)
  • Two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (First Man, Blade Runner 2049)
  • Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer (Blade Runner 2049).

The press release also revealed the film’s official synopsis for the first time:

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 hits theaters on November 20, 2020.

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