Dune 2020 — Script Analysis

This following article is based on various tidbits of information gathered regarding the script by Denis Villeneuve of his upcoming Dune adaptation. The compiled material is arranged in a logical order below. I do not have access to the script myself. Without further ado, here we go:

Beginning of the Script

The script starts off with Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) landing on Arrakis. In the book, it was hinted that Duncan Idaho was previously on Arrakis to socialise with the Fremen. In the script, this appears to have been actually shown:

Chani

Chani (Zendaya) will be present in a limited number of scenes. She will primarily be seen in Paul’s visions throughout the movie, before finally meeting her face to face near the end of the movie:

Combat

The combat in the movie will primarily melee-focused, judging by what the script has said. The probable training combat requirement combined with a decent fight choreographer will mean there will be decent action/combat moments from the movie:

Dialogue

In comparison to the previous adapted scripts, Denis Villeneuve’s version appears to have the least amount of speaking roles. This is the despite the fact that renowned filmmaker Robert Myers Burnett has described the script as quite talkative. Perhaps, whilst there are less speaking roles, the characters who do talk actually talk a lot more?

Ending and Length

The script itself 130 pages long, which is correspondent to around 2 hours 25 minutes or a total of 145 minutes of runtime. As expected, this movie will cover 2/3rd the book, as there is a time gap of 5 years between a pivotal moment involving Jessica to the next:

Inner Monologue

There do not appear to be any inner thoughts in this version. The original book was full of inner monologue throughout its text which is what makes it difficult to adapt. To circumvent this, the script avoids such effects altogether:

Liet Kyne’s Death

In the book, Liet Kynes dies under an exploding pre-spice mass after helping Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica escape. As this happens, he gets hallucinations of his father making Kynes doubtful of the intentions of Paul Atreides. In the upcoming movie, Liet Kynes will instead be assassinated by a Sardaukar soldier, before taking them both down under a pre-spice mass explosion:

Manipulation — Social Engineering

The Fremen believe in a prophecy in which a messiah with a reverend mother will lead their people to freedom. They refer to Paul as ‘Mahdi’, which is the Islamic term in regards to an upcoming messiah according to the Muslim theology and is directly translated into Arabic as “The Guided One”. In the original book, it is later discovered this prophecy was created by the Bene Gesserit to produce a superstition which will benefit their secretive order. This manipulation is not referred to in the David Lynch adaptation, but is present in both the Syfy miniseries and Denis Villeneuve’s vision:

Missing Characters

Not all of the significant book characters appear to have been mentioned in the script. For instance, Harah appears to be missing from the script, even though Jamis is present. This is despite the fact that IMDB lists Harah being portrayed by Gloria Obianyo, who herself posted an old Instagram of herself visiting Petra as part of the filming production in Jordan.

Rating

The age rating is not something which is definitely confirmed. People suspect it could be both PG-13 or R-Rated. Robert Myers Burnett suspects it can be PG-13. DuneInfo suspects it could be either PG-13 or R-Rated. A Russian guy with a bunch of scripts suspects it will be R-Rated:

Trivia — Additional

The Butlerian Jihad is not mentioned by name and instead referred to as “Great Revolt”, which is a terminology also present in the actual book itself:

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Dune by Firat Kocaman

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Writer. Reader of Novels. Video Gamer. Documentary Watcher. Tech nerd.

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