Why Dune 2021 faces the sci-fi localization problem


The new adaptation of Denis Villeneuve Dune could upset the expectations of some viewers for science fiction. However, it can be a good thing.

Denis Villeneuve’s new Dune the adaptation faces an unusual problem for a sci-fi epic due to its location. The film, set on the fictional desert planet of Arrakis, subverts many tropes audiences have come to associate with the genre, including the setting. However, despite the challenges it can present, it also allows the film to do something truly groundbreaking and present its story in a relatively unique way.

Following in the footsteps of three earlier attempts to adapt Frank Herbert’s original book, including David Lynch’s failure in 1984, Dune tells the story of the young nobleman Paul Atreides. Sent to the desert planet, Arrakis, Paul finds his family betrayed before leading the local population in a revolt against the overlords of Arrakis, the Harkonnens. The novel, released in 1965, is widely regarded as one of the great works of science fiction literature and spawned several sequels. Despite various unsuccessful efforts to adapt it to the big screen, Dune remains one of the most influential works of the genre, whether literary or cinematographic.


Related: Dune’s Best Chance For Success Is Streaming, Not On The Big Screen

One of the things that makes Dune such an alluring universe to explore is the desert setting of Arrakis. Unlike many other sci-fi classics, the story does not take place in a traditional futuristic environment. Instead of the Gothic industrialism of Blade runner Where The matrix, Dunes The aesthetic places much more emphasis on nature, the harshness of the planet, and the environmental dangers inherent in Arrakis. Because it’s so far removed from what many modern viewers expect from sci-fi movies, there is a risk that the setting will subvert current genre tropes too much. However, despite this potential localization issue, it’s also possible that this point of difference helps mark the film as something truly unique.

dune star wars scene inspiration

It is certainly true that the setting of the novel is one of the things that made it possible to distinguish Dune other similar stories. The deserts of Arrakis ultimately inspired many places in other classics of the genre, such as Tatooine in Star wars. However, it can present a problem for a contemporary audience. Many of the most popular modern sci-fi hits, including the likes of The hunger Games and Creation, are urban in nature. Even movies that focus on the natural world, like Avatar and Jurassic World, take place in verdant jungles rather than arid deserts. For a public aware of these modern sensibilities, Dunes the distinctive aesthetic can seem shocking.

However, while this may go against what some audiences expect, the deserts of Dune can also help mark the project as something truly unique. The recent deluge of near-identical dystopian future sci-fi films, such as the Divergent and Labyrinth series, could mean sci-fi audiences clamoring for something as idiosyncratic as Arrakis. The willingness of the filmmakers to repeat and recycle similar sets and looks shows that making a drastically different sci-fi film is a real risk. However, given the disturbing scarcity of truly original visions in the genre, Dune may well be received positively.

More: Dune’s Shorter Runtime Is Good For Avoiding Blade Runner 2049 Failure

  • Dune (2021)Release Date: October 22, 2021

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