The spice must flow, and flow it will when Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited adaptation of sci-fi grandmaster Frank Herbert’s Dune arrives in the U.S. on October 22. But Villeneuve’s movie isn’t the only Dune available to check out—there’s a cult classic movie adaptation from 1984, two well-regarded miniseries that chronicled Paul Atreides’ fight against the corrupt Baron Harkonnen, and even a documentary looking at the giant sandworms we might have seen swimming in the desert seas of Arrakis. Here’s how to check out everything Dune has to offer (uh, other than the novels).
The critically acclaimed adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi masterpiece—or at least the first half of it—will be viewable in theaters on October 22, 2021. But if you’d prefer to watch it in the comfort of your own home, it will be available to stream beginning October 21 (at 6 p.m. EST to be exact), only on the subscription streaming service HBO Max. Just don’t tell director Villeneuve, who is very unhappy that the latter option is available to you.
Although it bombed when it was initially released, the 1984 incarnation of Dune starring Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides has become a cult classic over the years. Even though the studio heavily edited the film to the point that David Lynch has effectively disavowed it, there’s still so much of the auteur director and his vision that it’s definitely worth a watch. But boy do you have options of how to do that! The 1984 Dune is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime, AppleTV, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, and more. It’s also available to stream on DirectTV and Spectrum on Demand, and of course HBO Max, if you want to do a double feature with Villeneuve’s version.
There is nowhere to currently watch Frank Herbert’s Dune miniseries. Released in 2000 and airing on the Sci-Fi Channel (the predecessor to Syfy), this three-part series gave the epic book the space it needed to tell its long, complicated journey. It’s a remarkably faithful adaptation and made the excellent decision to cast Dune fan Wiliam Hurt as the Atreides patriarch Duke Leto. If you’ll watch the trailer, you can also see the special effects looked great, especially for a basic cable show made in 2000. It broke the top 10 of most-watched TV miniseries when it aired, and even won two Emmys, one for cinematography and the other for special effects. Which is what makes it so weird that it’s not streaming anywhere...
...in addition to the fact that the sequel miniseries, Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune, can be watched on an obscure streaming service named Hoopla. Despite the name, the three-episode miniseries is based on the sequels Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, and the three episodes are understandably packed. Still, this sequel was well-received, likely with help from star Susan Sarandon, another celebrity Dune fan who played the unquestioningly evil character Wensicia.
Alas, this is not the long-in-development movie adaptation of Dune made by cult-favorite, avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. That movie would have been amazing—it might have starred Orson Welles as Baron Harkonnen, had art design by Moebius and Alien’s H.R. Giger, and a soundtrack by Pink Floyd—but the film never managed to find the funding it needed. (It didn’t help that at one point Jodorowsky’s movie was going to be 14 hours long.) Luckily, we do have this: Jodorowsky’s Dune, a phenomenal documentary about the fascinating, doomed production which can be bought or rented to stream at Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, Microsoft, and Vudu.
Some other Dune information you might enjoy:
- [Review] Dune Is the Jaw-Dropping Sci-Fi Epic You’ve Been Waiting For
- Dune Is Getting a Tabletop RPG, Just in Time for Denis Villeneuve’s Reboot
- Denis Villeneuve Aimed for Dune to Be Approachable, Even If You Didn’t Read the Books [io9 interview]
- Game of Thrones Language Builder David Peterson Is Working on Denis Villeneuve’s Dune [io9 interview]
- A Guide to Dune’s Gargantuan Cast of Characters
- Dune’s Denis Villeneuve Breaks Down His Big Plans for the Sequel and Beyond [io9 interview]
- 7 Things I Liked About David Lynch’s Dune (and 8 I Didn’t)
- How Jodorowsky’s Dune Speaks to the Now (Beyond the Upcoming Film)
- A Guide to Dune’s Strange and Intense Religions
- 6 Things I Liked About the Dune Miniseries (and 6 I Didn’t)
- Breaking Down the Spice, Worms, and Pain Boxes in Dune’s First Trailer
- Dune’s Cast Is Extremely Proud and Incredibly Close [io9 interview]
- Denis Villeneuve Explains Why Dune Had to Be Filmed in the Real World [io9 interview]
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