If you want to watch Dune online, you might be surprised that the Oscar-nominated film isn't on HBO Max (where it first streamed in 2021). That's because the movie is in the awkward in-between waiting period between initial release and its main run on HBO Max.
The good news, for old spice-lords and new fans alike, is that Denis Villeneuve-helmed adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic is available to stream from home and is coming back soon to HBO Max. They can enjoy the tale of House Atreides, with son Paul (Timothée Chalamet), patriarch Leto (Oscar Isaac) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) the family that gains power over the spice-mining planet Arrakis.
While the Atreides family has enemies lurking in every corner, it also has allies, such as Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) the tough soldier who trains young Paul in combat and weapons tutor Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). And when you're not looking at those attractive people, Javier Bardem and Zendaya both have mysterious roles to play.
Oh, and if you're wondering about Oscar Isaac's amazing beard? A GQ (opens in new tab) article has revealed that it took 14 weeks "to grow out," and that he shampooed and conditioned it regularly, as well as applying beard oil. Of course, brushing and trimming were also par for the course. In other barely-related news, Dune character skins are showing up in Fortnite.
Dune, I'll argue, is probably going to look and sound great in a nice home theater decked out with one of the best 4K TVs and an excellent sound system. Though some scenes felt a little cropped, and might benefit more from an IMAX viewing, which the director says is the format the film was made for.
Here's everything you need to watch Dune (we've also got you covered if you're looking to watch King Richard online).
How to watch Dune online in the U.S.
In the U.S., Dune is available for purchase and rental online via video-on-demand services such as Amazon (opens in new tab) and Apple (opens in new tab). For some reason, though, Amazon isn't offering a 4K version in the U.S. — Apple is.
HBO Max (opens in new tab) is one of the new kids on the streaming block but it's already got a ton to offer, including all of HBO's prestige series, like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and The Wire. Plus, the service has its own originals like Hacks and The Flight Attendant. HBO Max costs $15 per month.
Relatedly, we've also got The Batman's HBO Max release date. For those excited about the caped crusader's next flick, we've got all the intel you need, including details on if The Batman movie has post-credits scenes. The one staff member who's seen the movie wasn't a huge fan, but notes there's one way to see The Batman that saves the film.
How to watch Dune in Canada
Canadians have the same situation Americans do for Dune, as it's currently available for purchase and rental online via Amazon (opens in new tab) and Apple (opens in new tab) — and the other standard services.
We can't figure out of Crave will get Dune, as it often gets HBO movies. If you're an American traveling abroad, you'll need to look into the best VPN services, such as Express VPN, to access all your paid services.
How to watch Dune in the UK
Dune hit UK cinemas on October 21st, 2021, and is currently on Virgin TV Go and the aforementioned on-demand digital purchase and rental options.
We've seen a whole range of reactions to Dune, in my op-ed about how to see Dune, I praised the film's execution, visuals and overall quality. That said, I'll also admit it can feel a bit long.
At the Washington Post (opens in new tab), Michael O'Sullivan praised Dune as the movie that fans have been waiting for. He also called it "somehow almost purely pleasurable, and rarely tedious, despite its gargantuan running time and minor imperfections."
The New Republic (opens in new tab)'s David Klion writes "Villeneuve has made a heartfelt cinematic epic that is true to its source material both in its rich details and in its emphasis on the dangers of absolute power; that will hopefully inspire new readers to delve into that source material; and that is worth donning a mask for a few hours to watch on a huge screen."
Roxana Hadadi at Polygon (opens in new tab) had issues with the movie being all set-up for the next chapter (yes, there's another half to this story). This review also notes notes that Paul's internal journey suffers from "muffled line deliveries and the script’s dampening of the religious elements that made this moment so important in the book," and that "the Fremen characters in Dune: Part One lack the interiority they need to come across as something other than stock types." Which, yes, that's right.
IndieWire's (opens in new tab) David Ehrlich damns the film by writing "Dune only resembles a dream in that it cuts out on a note so flat and unresolved that you can’t believe anyone would have chosen it on purpose."
Dune movie cast and crew
Dune is led by Timothée Chalamet, whose appeal may be wide enough to bring a large audience to this adaptation, which might not have been their cup of tea otherwise. He's joined by an all-star cast of modern comic/sci-fi movie actors, including MJ herself, Zendaya. Oh, and Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin are here to smolder.
Here is the main cast of Dune:
- Zendaya as Chani
- Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica
- Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides
- Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho
- Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck
- Dave Bautista as Glossu 'Beast' Rabban
- Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides
- Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
- Javier Bardem as Stilgar
- David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries
- Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam
- Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat
- Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet-Kynes
- Chen Chang as Dr. Wellington Yueh
- Babs Olusanmokun as Jamis
Aside from director Denis Villeneuve, Dune's pedigree is strong even behind the scenes. Villeneuve co-wrote the script with Eric Roth (Forrest Gump).
Villeneuve wasn't the original director, though, as Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) was originally tasked, but left before Paramount dropped Dune from its list of projects. Legendary Pictures would later acquire rights, and they brought Villeneuve to the table. Also, erase all memories of David Lynch's 1984 Dune movie. Villeneuve (opens in new tab) has states his movie has no connections to that original. Relatedly, Lynch (opens in new tab) has no interest in seeing this movie.
Hans Zimmer is scoring Dune, and picked the project over Christopher Nolan's Tenet, due to his own personal love of Herbert's book.
Dune story: What's it actually about
10,000 years in the future, the empire of the Imperium rules the world of Dune, which looks to be a more manageable massive space opera on the screen than it is on the page. The big story at the center of the story finds Paul Atreides, the son of Duke Leto Atreides, dealing with strife, a powerful drug known as The Spice and giant sandworms.
The story begins on Arrakis, where Paul is fighting for his life as his family takes over the mining of The Spice (also known as Melange). Complicating things is Baron Harkonnen, who was caricature-calibur evil in the books, though Villeneuve wants to turn into a more complex antagonist.
On Arrakis, Paul's life changes once powers begin to manifest in his body, and his own goals begin to conflict with his family's politics.