Breaking Down The Incredible Dune Trailer Shot-By-Shot

The film world is still catching its breath after the long awaited trailer for Denis Villeneuve's Dune and we bring you a shot-by-shot breakdown.

Wow! What a reveal! The film world is still catching its breath after Warner Bros. debuted the long awaited trailer for Denis Villineuve’s Dune!

A Colbert Report

The press event started off with The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert interviewing director Denis Villeneuve alongside Dune’s stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, and Jason Momoa.

During the roundtable, the actors talked about their characters and motives, what it was like working with Denis on actual sets and locations like the Jordanian desert, and of course the themes behind Frank Herbert’s beloved 1965 novel.

Dune Trailer Time

Then Stephen Colbert ushered in the first public viewing of the theatrical Dune trailer:

Let’s break it down:

Dune Timothée Chalamet
The opening shot of the Dune trailer. Paul Atreides (Chalamet) dreams of a mysterious girl named Chani (Zendaya) and sees glimpses of the future where the planet Arrakis is under siege and uncovers that he is the key to Arrakis and the spice’s survival.
Charlotte Rampling’s Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohaim tests Paul’s humanity and questions him about his dreams.
Dune Josh Brolin
Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin) trains with Paul using Holtzman combat shields. Paul Atreides is certainly a swift and skilled fighter, likely due to Halleck’s tutelage.
Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) and family have been called away from their home world of Caladan (pictured above). The Atreides are leaving behind a place of comfort to set forth to world unknown to them.
The Atreides family arrives on Arrakis and is greeted by another one of Paul’s teachers Duncan Idaho (Jason Mamoa). He was likely sent ahead to forge an alliance with the Fremen, Arrakis’ desert natives led by Stilgar (Javier Bardem), due to Idaho wearing a Fremen’s stillsuit.
Arakis is also home to the Sardaukar, the Padishah Emperor’s elite military force. That pose a significant threat to House Atreides.
Dune Dave Bautista "The Beast" Glossu Rabban Harkonnen
House Harkonnen serves as House Atreides primary opposition. They are led by the deformed and sadistic Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) and his nephew “The Beast” Glossu Rabban Harkonnen (Dave Bautista) is one of the Baron’s chief enforcers.
Dune Dr. Wellington Yueh (Chen Chang)
Dr. Wellington Yueh (Chen Chang) is Duke Leto’s personal physician. The black diamond tattoo on his forehead denotes Imperial Conditioning – meaning the doctor is against taking human life. A symbol of trust between royals and their doctors.
Paul and his father both now in stillsuits, as they set off to venture into the desert.
Dune Jason Momoa Duncan Idaho
Duncan Idaho, an exceptional fighter, laying waste to a group of Sardaukar.
Atreides’ forces are under attack and Gurney Halleck and company are caught off guard.
The grotesque Baron Harkonnen rising from a type of mud bath.
Paul and Duncan salute each other with a what looks like a crysknife. A crysknife is a weapon of the Fremen and the blade is made up of the teeth of sandworms. If a Fremen draws their crysknife, they cannot pocket it until they’ve drawn the blood of their foe.
Paul and Gurney seemingly escape as what looks like a sandworm takes down a spice harvester craft.
Sharon Duncan-Brewster plays Dr. Liet Kynes in a gender bent role. The doctor is Fremen leader and a chief ecologist for Arrakis.
The Beast flanked by other Harkonnen soldiers. He seems to be carrying a whip weapon of sorts.
Paul with a handful of sand, imbued with the highly valued spice.
A sandworm rising from the depths of the desert over Paul and Jessica. It looks like its ready to eat.

What did you guys think of the first Dune trailer? It really played to the fans of the novel and David Lynch adaptation. You had to have some knowledge of the source material to fully appreciate this trailer. I think for this film to be a massive success they have to come up with a marketing plan that also appeases to the general movie goer.



Picture of Sean McLaughlin

Sean McLaughlin

Sean is a writer, theater director, and actor based on the Jersey Shore. He is an avid lover of all film, but Star Wars holds a special place in his heart. Sean also runs his own film blog The Dailie Talk,, which you should check out!