On Wednesday, Warner Bros. released the official trailer for Dune, the sci-fi epic adapted from Frank Herbert‘s 1965 novel of the same name (and the first in the series). Dune is directed by Denis Villeneuve and this trailer marks the second successful attempt at getting the story to the big screen.
Dune features an incredible cast of A-listers. Leading the cast is Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jessica Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster. The additional supporting cast includes Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Chen Chang, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and David Dastmalchian. All of these actors will come together to breathe new life into the characters at the heart of the Dune saga and bear the responsibility of bringing a fresh perspective to their respective characters as the second feature film cast to play them (following David Lynch‘s Dune cast).
Below, we’re breaking down the Dune trailer to get a better look at all of the cast members, the characters they’re playing, the worlds they live in, and the epic clash over a special substance called “spice” that will decide their fates. Check it out.
Our first image in the trailer is of Chani (Zendaya), the daughter of Liet Kynes (Duncan-Brewster) and a young woman whose destiny is entwined with Paul’s.
Enter Paul Atreides (Chalamet). The only son of Duke Leto Atreides (Isaac) and Lady Jessica (Ferguson). Paul appears here in either his dream state or this is a shot from later in the movie.
Paul and Chani share a kiss somewhere in the desert of Arrakis. We get a closer look at the suits the Fremen wear to help them breathe and circulate their bodily fluids to make sure they’re healthy.
Paul wakes up in his bed on his home planet of Caladan.
A quick shot of the coming war and the destruction of what looks like Caladan. Those fires raging on the ground also look a lot like the fiery attack scenes we see later in the trailer.
What’s in the box?
Gaius Helen Mohiam (Rampling) is the Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit. She brings Paul into her chambers to administer the Gom Jabbar Test of Humanity. Once stuck with the needle, Paul will insert his hand into the box to see if he is human enough to withstand the pain within.
Paul takes a contemplative walk on the lakeside shore on Caladan as what I can only guess are ships float overhead in the distance.
Paul trains with his (albeit much older) confidant and advisor (and very skilled musician) Gurney Halleck (Brolin). The men activate armor tech via their wristbands as they spar with one another. Paul has been trained above and beyond the average person in combat, espionage, analytical thinking, and beyond, which this moment in the trailer teases.
Paul says good-bye to his home planet.
A hint at the ancient history of the men who came before Paul, Duke Leto, and the other Dune characters.
We get our first look at Duke Leto Atreides (Isaac)! Leto is Paul father’s and the head of House Atreides when we first meet him. Once Leto is given control of the fiefdom of Arrakis, he is in charge of moving his entire family and court from Caladan to this new desert planet.
Enter Lady Jessica (Ferguson). Lady Jessica is the concubine (a common practice in the world of Dune) of Duke Leto and his primary partner. She is also a member of the Bene Gesserit, a women-only order whose members have attained almost magical levels of mental and physical ability.
The members of House Atreides arrive on the planet Arrakis. We also get a good look at the style of the armor worn by members of House Atreides.
We meet Duncan Idaho (Momoa), an extremely skilled fighter and loyal member of House Atreides. He becomes a staunch defender and ally of Paul’s throughout Dune‘s epic story.
We get a glimpse at Stilgar (Bardem), leader of the Fremen tribe. The Fremen people are native to Arrakis and know this planet’s resources well. Below, we also get a look at an army formation. It’s hard to tell if this is House Atreides or House Harkonnen; either way, looks intense.
Everyone, say hello to the villains of Dune! Above, there’s Glossu Rabban (Bautista), a.k.a. “The Beast.” True to his nickname, he’s one of the leaders of the Harkonnen contingent on Arrakis who must cede his power to Duke Leto upon Leto’s arrival.
Below, we get a murky look at Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Skarsgård), the shadowy figure behind all of the moves made against House Atreides.
Above is Dr. Wellington Yueh (Chang), the personal physician to Leto, and, as it is revealed in this shot, a double agent working for the Harkonnens.
Okay, Duncan Idaho, I see that smirk!
The Dune trailer also showcases just how killer Duncan’s skills in hand-to-hand combat are which I, a red-blooded human harboring a crush on Jason Momoa, sincerely appreciate.
A few quick shots of the first blows of the war Paul saw in his dreams, which is later revealed to be a battle between House Atreides and House Harkonnen. It looks like the Harkonnen army is unleashing absolute hell on Halleck and the men he leads.
Knife salutes? Yeah, I’m hella into that.
Eat your heart out, Sarlacc pit. Paul and Gurney get to stare into the maw of a sandworm as it emerges from under the sands of Arrakis.
Another important supporting cast member is introduced late in the trailer. Below is Liet Kynes (Duncan-Brewster), a Planetologist and ecologist living and working on Arrakis. Liet becomes a key intermediary in the power transfer from Harkonnen to Atreides.
I definitely would not want to meet the Harkonnen army or The Beast in a dark alley. These dudes look ferocious.
Wait, what’s that bloody handprint doing on Duke Leto’s shirt? Better yet, who’s handprint is on Duke Leto’s shirt?
Stilgar is looking all sorts of brooding and threatening.
Are Paul and Lady Jessica escaping somewhere? If so, where? Why? How?
Paul encounters the spice-laden sands of Arrakis. Spice, or “melange,” is a precious commodity thanks to its use as a drug which gives more vitality, longer life span, and heightened awareness. The issues harvesting and use of spice are at the center of the power struggle between House Harkonnen and House Atreides.
Duncan Idaho swears his allegiance to Paul Atreides, the leader of House Atreides and the one who stands a chance of ensuring his family’s victory over House Harkonnen.
The sandworms of Arrakis make an appearance! Sandworms are extremely important to the environment of this desert planet. However, they’re incredibly large and incredibly scary.
Dune arrives in theaters on December 18. Get even more Dune updates here.
Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.