Dune: Part Two Had a Worm Unit to Handle Riding Shai-Hulud

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two is set to premiere in theaters in mere days, and many are eager to see it, in no small part to witness moments from Frank Herbert’s novel that weren’t in Dune: Part One. There’s the introduction of Feyd Rautha (Austin Butler), Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), and Emperor Shaddam IV (Christopher Walken), of course. But there are also the worms.

Dune: Part One ended with a glimpse of a Fremen riding a worm (a.k.a. Shai-Hulud), but it was mere seconds. Without getting into spoilers (and it’s not a spoiler at all if you’ve read Herbert’s book), Part Two has much more worm-riding action.

Translating those scenes to the big screen, unsurprisingly, was no easy task. And in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Villeneuve and actors Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, who play Paul Atreides and Chani respectively, shared what it was like to ride the worm.

“In the book, it’s just written, ‘and then Paul rides the worm,’ with no real clues of how a Fremen will actually jump onto a sandworm, this great beast with high speed and tremendous power,” Villeneuve told EW.

He added, “From the worm behavior that we had created in Part One, I had to figure out how a human being could approach that: What is the Fremen technique? What do the maker hooks look like? How do you use them/ It required a tremendous amount of [research and development].”

Image: Warner Bros.

That research and development took place on a team dubbed the Worm Unit. The group, led by Villenueve’s wife and producing partner Tanya Lapointe, solely worked on the riding sequences.

“You go to the Worm Unit, and you go up this ladder onto a platform,” Chalamet said. “You get on a little slab of worm—I hope that’s never taken out of context—that they practically built, like a scale. And then you get two gripping devices.”

“They figure things out before we get there,” added Zendaya. “They have already thought about the intricacies of what position your wrists should be in, how your legs should be. So I was like, ‘Okay, if it looks good on them, how do I do what they’re doing?’ You try to find the positioning as much as you can.”

Villeneuve also praised the Worm Unit, saying the movie would not be finished today if it did not exist, as those sequences required significantly more setup and special effects. The director, however, is very pleased with how it turned out: “Frankly, it’s exactly the dream I had. Every time I see the scene, I’m sincerely moved.”

Dune: Part Two premieres in theaters on March 1, 2024. icon-paragraph-end

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top