Follow Vogue Arabia

Jordan and Abu Dhabi Have a Starring Role in Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet’s New Film

Zendaya, Dune 2020

Zendaya in ‘Dune’. Photo: Instagram/@zendaya

American actors Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet’s new film, Dune is set to transport its audience to some of the most breathtaking landscapes across the UAE and Jordan. In a new trailer for the 2020 adaptation, of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name, viewers can see a glimpse of Jordan’s stunning Wadi Rum and the Abu Dhabi desert.

The premise of the film is set on Arrakis, described as an inhospitable fictional planet. Zendaya will star as “Chani” a Freman woman, one of the native inhabitants of Arrakis, and will be joined by actors Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, and Jason Momoa among the film’s star-studded line-up. The epic science fiction film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, released its first trailer on September 9.

The UAE and Jordan feature as an important backdrop for Arrakis. Chalamet, who plays the protagonist and unlikely-hero Paul Atreides, spoke to Variety to discuss his experience of filming in the Middle East. “It was really surreal,” said Chalamet. “There are these Goliath landscapes, which you may imagine existing on planets in our universe, but not on Earth.”. Principal photography for the film was shot in Jordan’s Wadi Rum, on which Chalamet shared with SyFyWire, “When you’re shooting in the desert in Jordan, the spirituality of the location, I’ll ruin it with my words, so I won’t even try, but you’re really in it. I think I did two scenes on a green screen. I think it’s literally two scenes I did on a green screen. Besides that, everything else was practical.”

Shooting for the scenes in the Abu Dhabi desert was often filmed in the early morning, to catch the spectacular sunrise on camera, with Chalamet noting his early rises in the summer heat. “I remember going out of my room at 2am, and it being probably 100 degrees,” said the actor.

The film is scheduled for a December 2020 release.

Read Next: Oscars Announces New Diversity Rules for Films to Qualify for Best Picture Award

View All
Vogue Collection