Where was Dune 2020 shot? Filming locations of Denis Villeneuve remake

Bruno Cooke September 10, 2020
Where was Dune 2020 shot? Filming locations of Denis Villeneuve remake
Photo by Jeremy Horner/LightRocket via Getty Images

Where was Dune 2020 shot? The trailer just dropped for Denis Villeneuve’s reboot of Frank Herbert’s sweeping epic sci-fi classic. Fans are in hysterics and the uninitiated are undoubtedly titillated. If you’re wondering where Villeneuve and his team travelled to capture some of the most stunning science fiction photography ever – so are we.

As befits a film of such astral proportions, Dune 2020 is a co-production of the UK, US, Hungary and Canada. This latter is Villeneuve’s birth country.

So, where was Dune 2020 shot?

It’s still early days, since all we have is the trailer. But, so far, we know that the newest adaptation of Dune was shot in various locations across Norway, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.

Image by Heidelbergerin from Pixabay 

Where did filming start?

Filming started with a return to Orgio Film Studios in Budapest, Hungary. This is where Villeneuve and his crew shot much of his previous film, Blade Runner 2049. At some point the crew migrated to western Norway – as confirmed by Western Norway film commissioner Sigmund Elias Holm. 

For those who know the story, this part of the world was chosen to portray Paul Atreides’ home planet Caladan.

Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash

With desert locations in Wadi Rum, Jordan and Abu Dhabi we can only assume the Arrakis scenes were shot here. Where better to shoot the “home of the spice, greatest of treasure in the universe”?

Dune 2020 vs David Lynch’s Dune

For those who felt Lynch’s Dune film was a little off par (that’s most of us, including Lynch himself), rest assured. Given the tightness and ingenuity of Villeneuve’s previous excursions into the genre of science fiction, we can feel confident Dune won’t flop. Arrival (2016) exhibited a film-making prowess and eye for directorial form rarely witnessed in the genre. Blade Runner 2049 (2017) holds up admirably to Scott’s original. 

While Ebert described Lynch’s effort as a “real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion into the murkier realms of one of the most confusing screenplays of all time”, Villeneuve pushed hard for Dune to be a two-part film. This will give the epic the space it needs.

Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

This iteration of Dune features a suitably multifarious cast. Legends old (Brolin and Bardem meet again, with Skarsgård and Rampling to boot) and new (Chalamet, Zendaya and Ferguson) go head to head in one of the most anticipated films of the year.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.