The controversial yet memorable 1984 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 science fiction novel Dune will be released in 4K and HDR for the first time on August 31, thanks to a new 4K UltraHD Blu-ray set from distributor Arrow Films.
According to Arrow Films, the upcoming release was mastered from the original camera negative in 4K and Dolby Vision HDR, though playback in the HDR-10 format is also supported. The set offers two audio options: uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound.
There’s one thing genre cinephiles might be hoping for that they won’t get here, though: commentary from filmmaker David Lynch, who directed the film and became famous for later works like Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet. Those familiar with the film’s history won’t be surprised by that omission though; Lynch disowned Dune when it was released, saying that it did not represent his creative vision due to interference from the studio.
There are commentary tracks, though—they just don’t feature Lynch. Rather, The Projection Booth podcast host Mike White and film historian Paul M. Sammon provide commentaries.
The new Blu-ray set will come in two editions: one standard release with two discs, and a steel book edition with three. That third disc probably won’t matter to most buyers though, as it’s just an HD version of the film instead of 4K on a standard Blu-ray disc.
Regardless of the version you purchase, you’ll get a plethora of featurettes and documentaries about the movie from over the years, including some exploring what the film is arguably most remembered for: its production design, costumes, and miniatures. There is also an archive of interviews with various cast and crew members, as well as 11 deleted scenes and multiple trailers.
That’s all on the discs. Physical accompaniments include a 60-page book with interviews and essays about the film, a double-sided poster, and double-sided lobby card recreations.
The 1984 version of Dune was panned by critics and failed totally at the box office on its release. Over the years, it has found new life as a cult classic, but few critics even now step forward to claim Dune is a misunderstood masterpiece. The timing of the release seems strategically planned: Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has been working on a new cinematic adaptation, which is slated to hit theaters and streaming platform HBO Max on October 1.
Listing image by Arrow Films