Akira’s Influence on the Making of Dune 2: A Cinematic Evolution

Denis Villeneuve’s much-awaited sequel, Dune: Part Two, has not only taken the box office by storm but also showcased a nuanced understanding of cinematic storytelling and visuals. The movie, which adapts the second half of Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi novel, brings forth a tantalizing mix of new planets and larger-than-life action. The director’s inspirations can be traced back to notable movies, including the 80’s anime movie, Akira, which has its underlining influence traced through the transformation of Paul Atreides.

Dune: Part Two and its Success

Released as a sequel to the 2021 landmark sci-fi masterpiece, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, has set the box office ablaze, captivating audiences with its epic narrative and stunning visuals. It has quickly earned the title of the highest-grossing movie of 2024. The sequel has successfully carried forward the visual flair and large-scale storytelling that marked its predecessor and introduced audiences to new planets and grand action sequences.

Villeneuve’s Inspiration from Akira

While Villeneuve found inspiration in various movies for Dune: Part Two, a surprising addition was the 1980s anime movie Akira. Set in a dystopian world, Akira is highly regarded in the sci-fi genre for its influential narrative and setting; it tells the story of a biker gang leader whose life changes after his friend gains telekinetic powers. Villeneuve admits that the influence of Akira was subtle, so much so that he didn’t initially realize that he was drawing from the film.

Mimicking Japanese Cinema’s Scale in Dune: Part Two

Another admirable aspect of Villeneuve’s work in Dune: Part Two is his artful mastery of scale, similar to that in Japanese cinema. His work creates an endless, tangible desert landscape and communicates sheer size and weight through the use of CGI creations like sandworms. The director’s unique film-making style and methods not only enhance the experience but also lend the film a more realistic feel.

Akira’s Influence on Dune: Part Two’s Narrative

Villeneuve believes that the narrative of Akira was instrumental in crafting Paul Atreides’s transformation in Dune: Part Two. Like at the start of Akira, both films’ protagonists are teenagers yearning for normality but are forced to traverse a darker path and grow in the process. Moreover, the thematic elements of religious fanaticism, manifesting as cult following in both films, are also strikingly similar.

How Japanese Cinema Influenced the Scale of Dune: Part Two

Villeneuve’s skill in using the camera to convey imposing scale is reflected in his work on Dune: Part Two . Just like in Akira, Villeneuve uses wide shots to infuse depth and scale, showing as much detail as possible in each frame while keeping scenes realistic. This sense of scale is particularly evident in the black-and-white arena fight scene in Dune: Part Two.

Wrapping Up

Villeneuve’s magnificent work on Dune: Part Two is not just a testament to his talent, but also his unique ability to draw subtle inspiration from a variety of sources, even ones as unexpected as the 80s anime movie Akira. If you’re ready to dive into Villeneuve’s realistic and visually stunning world, don’t hesitate to watch Dune: Part Two now playing in theaters. You can also find Akira streaming on Hulu. Check out more such films on HitPlay.

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