The intricate world-building of director Denis Villeneuve's ("Arrival," "Blade Runner: 2049") sprawling sci-fi epic "Dune" is still impressing audiences entering its second month in theaters worldwide. With visionary source material from Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Frank Herbert's seminal 1965 novel of the far future, it’s not surprising that the new film offers up the most impressive visuals of the year.
Now a new companion coffee-table book from Insight Editions exposes the creative endeavor behind bringing Herbert's universe to the big screen. Written by "Dune's" executive producer, Tanya Lapointe, "The Art and Soul of Dune" (2021) reveals a wealth of concept art, production sketches, and rare behind-the-scenes images.
If you haven't seen the film or its predecessor, you can check out our guide on how to stream Dune online
It's a fascinating deep dive into the filmmaking process which offers all-access insight into the project’s genesis, from its striking environmental and creature designs to its costume concepts and awesome special effects. "The Art and Soul of Dune" is a lavish edition weighing in at over 4 pounds that also showcases exclusive interviews with key members of the cast and crew, including Denis Villeneuve, Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, and more.
Before working with filmmaker Denis Villeneuve on "Arrival," "Blade Runner 2049" and now as an executive producer on "Dune," Lapointe was an arts reporter in Canada for fifteen years.
"It's therefore ingrained in me to pay attention to the artistic process of a production, not only Denis' but also of the entire cast and crew," she tells Space.com. "In fact, I've written books like these before, and every time I'm in awe by the level of detail and attention brought to everything we see on screen, especially in films requiring this level of world building. I love sharing the stories and expertise of our dedicated team. They are the unsung heroes in the industry, and "The Art and Soul of Dune" gives them a voice."
Lapointe's biggest challenge was writing this book at the very beginning of the pandemic.
"I remember writing a sentence, then being interrupted by a COVID related news notification, and then finding out that a dear friend of mine passed away from the virus," she adds. "It felt like the end of the world, and yet I had a deadline to respect because, at the time, 'Dune' was supposed to be released in December 2020. I still had to deliver the manuscript and final layout by the end of that summer, even though the release of the film was pushed to October 2021. That extra year before the publication of the book, however, allowed for it to be translated in seven other languages."
A one-of-a-kind Limited Edition version of "The Art and Soul of Dune," is also available direct from Insight Editions, featuring an exclusive cloth cover with ornate, foil-stamped Atreides and Harkonnen symbols. This run is restricted to 500 copies and comes signed by director Denis Villeneuve, author Tanya Lapointe, star Josh Brolin, and director of photography Greig Fraser.
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Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.