Dune: A Movie Starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya… and Wadi Rum, Jordan! (4 minute read)

(Last Updated On: May 18, 2023)

Dune took the world by storm when it was released in 2021. With an A-list cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem, the blockbuster adaption of the classic 1965 Sci-Fi novel by Frank Herbert received rave reviews. It was originally scheduled for release in 2020, but this was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It debuted in the UK, USA, and elsewhere in October 2021. And it grossed more than $223 million, including $41 million in North America alone on its opening weekend. Boasting an 84% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the Dune movie is definitely one to see. Critics called the film a “cinema-worthy spectacle” and “stunningly gorgeous”. And with Hans Zimmer behind the soundtrack, you know you’re in for a treat. Dune: Part Two was officially announced on 26 October 2021. So we already know there’s more Dune movie action to come!

Check out the trailer below!

The film follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a member of a noble family which is thrown into a war for the fate of the desert planet Arrakis. Commonly known as Dune, Arrakis is the only source of “spice”, a valuable substance needed for interstellar travel. Dune was filmed in Stadlandet in Norway, the Liwa Oasis in the UAE and Budapest, Hungary. What interests us, however, is that much of the filming for Dune’s main setting, the desert planet of Arrakis, took place in the red Jordanian desert of Wadi Rum. There were already a million reasons to visit Jordan, but now the Dune movie gives us one more!

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in character in the new Dune movie
The Dune movie stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. Credit: Budiey on Flickr (images have been modified)

Wadi Rum in the Dune movie

The jaw-dropping Jordanian desert of Wadi Rum made the perfect backdrop for Dune. Lunar red sand, breath-taking rock formations and the native population of giant desert sandworms (just kidding!) meant it was the only place to film.

Wadi Rum has previous when it comes to providing the backdrop to movies. The desert has also been used in films including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Martian (2015) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019). The barren landscape makes the perfect setting for alien planets. But that doesn’t mean it is off-limits to visitors!


Visiting Wadi Rum

In fact, Wadi Rum is one of the most popular sites in Jordan for travellers to the country. SUV safaris take passengers on a thrilling journey over colossal sand dunes, clear skies offer a great view of the stars and traditional desert camps provide an amazing night’s accommodation. Plus, the mighty Rose City of Petra is just a 90-minute drive away! It really is one for the bucket list!

A campsite in the desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan
Many travellers to Wadi Rum stay in desert camps overnight!

See the film, travel to Jordan!

The new movie adaption of Dune is incredible, with an all-star cast and brilliant source material in Herbert’s novel. But in our opinion, the real hero of the movie is Wadi Rum, which brings the planet of Arrakis to life. So, your homework is to first enjoy the film. And secondly, it’s to get yourself over to the Middle-Eastern country of Jordan and into the red desert of Wadi Rum. We promise you won’t regret it!