Little White Lies #90: Dune

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Prior to embarking on this issue, I’d never had the pleasure of tackling Frank Herbert’s vaunted sci-fi doorstop, ‘Dune’, but thought if there was any occasion to tick that planet-sized box, then the release of a big, new movie adaptation was it. I was about half-way in when the lure of this story became crystal clear – that is, why people have obsessed over it for nearly half a century, and also why it has been something of an untapped goldmine when it comes to big-screen adaptations.

The story so far: Chilean cine-sorcerer Alejandro Jodorowsky discovered that his reach exceeded his grasp in his wild, eye-wateringly expensive attempt to film Herbert’s rich tome, while David Lynch delivered an enjoyably gaudy rendition of this laconic space opera in 1987 that ended up being sliced and diced by his producers and led the filmmaker to all but disown his work.

And now we’re back once more, as ‘Dune’ superfan Denis Villeneuve has earned enough tokens in Hollywood to fulfil a childhood fantasy and make a modern epic that does justice to Herbert’s densely layered and politically ripe narrative. This new issue of LWLies – our 90th! – jumps into a purring ’thopter and takes an aerial tour of the godforsaken plains of the desert planet Arrakis, with Timothée Chalamet’s spiritual messiah-in-waiting, Paul Attredes, as our guide. It’s a magazine for both the battle-hardened Dune-o-phile, and any newbies looking for an entry point into this enthrallingly complex world.