The Creator (2023) and Dune (2021)

Film Trace

Nov 5 2023 • 1 hr 5 mins

In the first episode of our Future Wars cycle, we discuss the new Gareth Edwards sci-fi epic, The Creator, and Denis Villeneuve's recent attempt of adapting Dune onto film.

Our Future Wars cycle is focused on how the conflicts of tomorrow were depicted in the past. Over this 8 episode series, we will review 16 films spanning from the 1950s through today that attempted to predict how mankind might find itself at odds with the world and itself.

The first episode covers the 2020s with The Creator and Dune. Gareth Edwards gained famed after toiling away as a video editor at the BBC with Monsters, a shoestring sci-fi film. Edwards was immediately called up to the majors to helm two blockbuster budgets with Godzilla (2014) and Rogue One (2016). The results were decidedly mixed, and Gareth found himself longing for a simpler way to shoot a big movie. The Creator looks like a very well done 200 million dollar film, but it only cost 80. Technical achievements aside, the story attempts to unravel the very present day conflict of Artificial Intelligence and what role it should play in our lives.

Dune is a great counter film to The Creator as both films tackle a large scale war of tomorrow, but the approaches are diametrically opposed. The world created by Edwards feels warm, lived in, and extremely perilous. Dune, locked into the imagined worlds of Frank Herbert's book, is depicted by Denis Villeneuve as cold, spartan, and fateful. The Creator feels entrapped in the present, and Dune feels entombed by the past.

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