Dune 2 expands Frank Herbert’s lore to give the Harkonnens their due

Like Dune earlier than it, Dune: Half Two is a feast for the eyes. However even in a film stuffed with tantalizing visuals, there’s one scene that stands aside: the starkly glowing Harkonnen enviornment.

Dune’s director of pictures, Greig Fraser, employed particular infrared, or IR, cameras to seize non-visual wavelengths of sunshine and convert them into grayscale. The impact is instantly putting and was a spotlight of Dune: Half Two’s early trailers, with Austin Butler in a shaved look that solely made his pale flesh pop tougher off the brutalist grays and the unusual headdresses of the shrouded figures round him.

However as for why the Harkonnen enviornment battle appears that approach, director Denis Villeneuve advised Polygon that it was all about filling in the gaps that Frank Herbert left behind.


Picture: Warner Bros.

“I came up with this idea as I was writing the screenplay,” Villeneuve stated, “this idea of having a black-and-white world, which I love. And of course, Greig Fraser went on board big time with it. He brought this idea that I am still so happy with, which is the IR cameras, where it gives a kind of eerie, milky, black and white where the skin became translucent.”

Frank Herbert by no means established a lot details about the Harkonnen homeworld, known as Giedi Prime, aside from that it had been industrialized into an nearly full wasteland. To Villeneuve, the Harkonnen rejection of the pure world was a mirror for Herbert’s exploration of the Fremen, a tradition deeply rooted in its native atmosphere — and due to this fact equally value exploring.

“I love how Frank Herbert [shows how] the psyche of the tribes of the people are influenced by the landscape. If you want to learn about the Fremen, you just have to learn more about the desert and it will give you insight about their way of thinking, their way of seeing their world, about their culture, about their beliefs, about their religion.”

However with far fewer Harkonnen particulars to work with, Villeneuve was pressured to improvise, and like several filmmaker, he settled on utilizing mild to inform the story — particularly the mild from Giedi Prime’s solar.

“I wanted to find something that had the same evocative power and the same cinematic power for the Harkonnens,” he stated. “I wanted to be generous with their world and make sure that it will be singular, and it will inform us about where their political system is coming from; where their sensitivity, their aesthetic, their way, their relationship with nature [is coming from]. I thought that a sun that will subtract colors instead of revealing them will say a lot about their ways of behaving and thinking.”

In a movie stuffed with huge desert vistas, charging sandworms, and spaceships formed like large platonic strong paperweights, the Harkonnen enviornment scenes nonetheless stand out. It’s a visible twist that’s putting not only for the way it warps the scene’s atmosphere, however for the way it warps the human figures inside.

“You can see the veins of the character,” Villeneuve stated, “and the eyes have gotten very piercing and eerie, to the place it’s prefer it reworked characters into vampires and witches, one thing that I felt the Harkonnens are very shut to. It was a approach to make their world extra wealthy and distinctive.

“Of course,” he laughed, “aesthetically, I love black and white, so it was a pretext to go there.”

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