Having seen a new Dune trailer plus a generic-sounding IMAX sizzle reel, Forbes Scott Mendelson has posted a 7.21.21 “what will happen to Dune when it opens?” article, and the general feeling is one of “uh-oh.”
The article has two stand-out proclamations, both alarmist. The first is the headline’s mention of the money-losing John Carter…that in itself is cause for shrieking. Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding…parched desert milieu! big ugly monsters!…ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! The second alarm-bell is a Mendelson statement that “the marketing folks at Warner Bros. have their work cut out for them” in order to spare Dune from a Carter-like fate.
“And that second trailer, mostly culled from the first ten minutes, was oddly less narratively coherent than the initial teaser,” Mendelson explains. “More so than the first teaser, the second trailer” — expected to pop early next month — “seems to be selling the mere idea of ‘Hey look, we made a mega-budget, all-star Dune movie!’ as its primary hook.”
Helpful Mendelson suggestion: “[The second trailer contains] hints of a ‘prince of privilege switches sides and aligns himself with the oppressed’ plot. That primal story that has resonated in everything from Exodus to Avatar. If there is a third trailer (perhaps timed to the film’s Venice Festival launch or to No Time to Die in late September), I’d suggest leaning hard into that angle. Hell, even if they have to lie a little bit, I’d play up the notion that Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya are dueling protagonists whose destinies eventually intermingle.”