Trudging through the desert for weeks on end will take its toll on you, as Villeneuve learned. “I still find [sand] every morning in my shoes,” he said, wincing. “We’re sand-traumatized, for sure.” (Must … not … make … “Attack of the Clones” … reference …)
If Villeneuve thought he was up to his neck in sand on the “Dune” movies, that was nothing compared to Vermette. The latter told Empire he spent most of the first “Dune” shoot carrying around bottles of desert grains just to ensure the dunes on Arrakis looked consistent, whether they were filming in Wadi Rum or the Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi. He went on to do the same thing for “Part Two,” collecting brand-new samples rather than reusing what he already had. “We didn’t repeat a single location,” he said. “We found completely fresh spots to tell our story this time around.”
All that hard work and sand trauma seems to have paid off, judging by the gorgeous visuals in the trailers for “Dune: Part Two.” It also made it easier for Villeneuve and his team to make the film’s action feel suitably epic, giving them plenty of space to stage sequences like the all-too-anticipated moment from the original “Dune” book where Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) hangs 10 on a giant sandworm for the first time. The Volume and StageCraft are useful tools, no question about it, but if you’re willing and able, it’s typically good to shoot as much on-location as possible. Just maybe give your shoes an extra shaking out every morning.
Not even the greed of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers can stop Muad’Dib, with “Dune: Part Two” now arriving on March 15, 2024.