Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins Part Ways for ‘Dune,’ but Greig Fraser Steps In

One of the most highly anticipated upcoming tentpoles officially has a cinematographer attached: Greig Fraser is set to work with Denis Villeneuve on his ambitious “Dune” remake. The “Arrival” director is planning a two-part movie. Variety’s awards editor Kris Tapley broke the news, and IndieWire has confirmed the hiring with Fraser’s representatives.

The “Dune” news is especially notable since it means Villeneuve is parting ways with longtime collaborator Roger Deakins. Deakins has been a staple of Villeneuve’s American film career, having shot “Prisoners,” “Sicario,” and “Blade Runner 2049.” The cinematographer was Oscar nominated for all his DP efforts on Villeneuve-directed films, and he won the Oscar for Best Cinematography for his work on “2049.”

Stepping in for Deakins to shoot “Dune” is Greig Fraser, himself an Oscar nominee for his work on Garth Davis’ directorial debut “Lion.” Fraser’s additional credits include “Mary Magdalene,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Foxcatcher,” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” for which he won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography. Fraser’s next release is Adam McKay’s “Vice,” in theaters this Christmas.

Fortunately, Villeneuve has proved in the past he can still thrive without Deakins’ vision behind the camera. The director’s science-ficion drama “Arrival,” starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, was shot by rising DP Bradford Young, whose work extends to Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” and Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Deakins most recently shot the upcoming film adaptation of “The Goldfinch,” directed by “Brooklyn” helmer John Crowley.

Villeneuve’s “Dune” will be the first major film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic 1965 novel since David Lynch tried and failed with his maligned 1984 feature. Villeneuve has cast Timothée Chalamet in the lead role, with production set to start in the beginning of 2019.

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