DENIS VILLENEUVE’S Dune: Part Two takes fans further into the world of Arrakis—a futuristic planet inhabited by the Fremen, who are at risk of losing their home. Zendaya stars as Chani, a native Fremen and guide to Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides. In Dune: Part Two, Paul and Chani team up to defeat the House of Harkonnen, a dangerous group that wants to control Arrakis. Throughout the film, viewers are immersed in stunning settings across the Dune-iverse that were crafted by the French production designer Patrice Vermette.

According to Vermette, Dune: Part Two was filmed in Budapest, Jordan, Abu Dhabi, and Italy. The crew shot the desert and sand dune scenes in Abu Dhabi, while the rocky terrain was filmed in Jordan. In order to visually tell Frank Herbert’s legendary tale, they had to bounce between locations. “There’s no real sand dunes in Jordan, but there are amazing canyons and colored stone” Vermette said to Conde Nast Traveler. “The movie is called Dune, so we need the sand dunes. In Abu Dhabi, that’s everything.”

By utilizing natural resources—as opposed to CGI—the Dune team could craft a more realistic-looking set. “We even brought the Smugglers’ Harvester there [in Abu Dhabi]” Vermette continued. “We built it on top of a 10-story high sand dune. When you’re inside that harvester, the view from the cockpit is real.”

Dune: Part Two also introduces a new land: Salusa Secundus. Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), lives on the lush planet with her father, Emperor Shaddam. While thinking through potential locations, Vermette was inspired by the work of the architect Carlo Scarpa, who designed the Brion Cemetery in Italy. “We were looking for a site for the Imperial planet and for a garden,” Vermette explained. “I showed Denis images [of the Brion Cemetery], and he said, ‘Wow, this is exactly the language of our film,’ which, of course, it was because my inspiration for the film was Scarpa.”

Their only issue? Securing the location. Before filming, Vermette had to get the owner’s approval. “We started by asking the owner, the son of the commissioner,” Vermette recalled. “He said, ‘Absolutely not. There will never be any shooting in the cemetery, and tomorrow will not be the day when we start.’ Then he realized it was for Dune and not for Star Wars, which he had turned down before. He was curious about what we wanted to do.”

Every garden-set scene in Dune was filmed there. The remaining scenes were shot in Budapest, where Vermette used sound stages to create the Harkonnen planet, Giedi Prime. `“Giedi Prime is inspired by septic tanks,” Vermette said. “Black, plastic, molded septic tanks. Because what are those Harkonnens? They are rats.”

This story originally appeared on Esquire US.


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