The 'Dune' Trailer Gives Us Our First Look at Arrakis and the Giant Space Worm

Fear is the mind-killer, but it looks like director Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi adaptation is the mind-melter.

In the far, far future, where humans have colonized the furthest reaches of outer space, one family, exiled to a desolate desert planet, will soon learn that they hold the fate of the universe in their hands. Welcome to Arrakis, and welcome to Dune.

The very first trailer for Denis Villeneuve's Dune, adapted from Frank Herbert's iconic 1965 science-fiction novel, sets us down on the sandy foothills of that planet, also known as Dune, which, while an inhospitable place where barely anyone lives, is nonetheless the axis upon which the economy of the universe turns. Dune is the home of spice, an invaluable natural resource, and the Atreides family, led by Duke Leto (played by Oscar Isaac), his wife the priestess Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), and their son Paul (Timothée Chalamet), is pushed into war for control over it. To survive, Paul and his mother must journey into the desert to enlist the help of the indigenous Fremen, and discover the secret of spice that has been hidden from them. 

This trailer looks absolutely fantastic: all the major players are represented here, including Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) and Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), the warriors pledged to House Atreides; Zendaya's mysterious Fremen girl Chani; and Stellan Skarsgård's villainous Baron Harkonnen emerging from a vat of goo. And, of course, there's a sandworm rearing its giant, gorgeous head.

This is not the first time Dune has been adapted, of course. There was David Lynch's memorably weird, wild and completely underrated 1984 version, for starters, which failed in large part because there's just too much damn stuff in Herbert's novel to be condensed into a two-hour movie. Villeneuve's adaptation will be broken into two parts, with this 2020 release, currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 18, covering roughly the first half of the novel.

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.