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Dune film maestro recalls China influence

Updated: 2024-03-26 07:38 ( China Daily )
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Villeneuve and his wife, Tanya Lapointe, visit the Forbidden City. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Additionally, in the first Dune movie, actor Chang Chen, portraying Dr Wellington Yueh, a physician employed by the aristocratic Atreides family, speaks Chinese while secretly giving a warning to the protagonist, the young master of the family.

Chinese fans are responding with enthusiasm. Dune: Part Two has earned more than 310 million yuan ($43 million) at the box office since its opening across Chinese mainland theaters on March 8, making it one of the highest-grossing blockbusters in recent weeks.

Adapted from the eponymous novel by American author Frank Herbert, published in 1965, the new movie picks up from where it leaves off in the first Dune movie, which is also based on the same novel. Set in the far future when interstellar travel becomes a regular practice, Paul Atreides, the protagonist and sole heir of his aristocratic family, is torn between his desire for vengeance for the murder of his father, and the prospect that, with his surging reputation, leading an army against the emperor and his accomplices might result in a catastrophic war claiming many lives.

Both top-notch filmmakers in the genre of science fiction, Villeneuve and Guo exchanged their insights about the respective challenges of adapting best-selling novels into cinematic masterpieces.

For Guo, whose The Wandering Earth movies are based on the works of Asia's first Hugo Award-winning novelist Liu Cixin, the typical feature length of two or three hours possibly limits his ability to include all the high-profile scenes in his movies.

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