With the release of the buzzy Dune trailer last week, director Denis Villeneuve paid subtle homage to one of the past failed adaptations of Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi tome. The trailer featured a choral cover of the Pink Floyd song “Eclipse,” from the English band’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon.
But it was more than just a creepy cover of a rock song that makes the choice of Pink Floyd a surprising fit for the Dune trailer. Back in the ’70s, when Alejandro Jodorowsky famously attempted to make his own Dune adaptation, the director planned to hire Pink Floyd to compose the score. That movie never came to be, but its memory lives on in Villenueve’s Dune trailer with the “Eclipse,” cover, which composer Hans Zimmer confirmed was conceived by him and created remotely over FaceTime.
Most movie trailers aren’t scored by the film’s actual composers, but Hans Zimmer stepped up to the plate to create a specially tailored cover of Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse” for the Dune trailer, in a full-circle moment for the failed Jodorowsky adaptation, Variety reports.
Amid putting the finishing touches for his original score for Dune, the Oscar winner worked remotely with a 32-voice Los Angeles choir to create the “Eclipse” cover for the Dune trailer. Held over eight sessions with four vocalists at a time in order to maintain social distancing measures, the cover was essentially created over FaceTime, at Zimmer’s Remote Control studio in Santa Monica, under the direction of the composer’s Lion King choral contractor Edie Lehmann Boddicker. Twelve vocalists performed the lyrics from “Eclipse” while 20 vocalists performed the choral parts. Lehmann Boddicker noted that Zimmer supervised over FaceTime and made suggestions throughout the sessions, adding:
“He wanted to pay homage to the original, very back-phrased sound, a little spaced-out, so the vocals would not sound urgent. There’s a kind of joy happening in the track, a lot of hopefulness. It’s not despondent, just very peaceful and sounding not of this planet.”
“We followed all the [COVID-19] protocols,” she added. “Everybody wore masks except when they were in their separate cubicles, divided by glass, all with their own mic’s, and everything was wiped down between sessions.”
Zimmer confirmed he conceived the new version for the trailer, expressing his excitement for the trailer when it dropped last week.
— Hans Zimmer (@HansZimmer) September 9, 2020
So was all that intense effort worth it? Although the choir sang the entire song, only 13 lines are used in the trailer, but the creepy choral effect adds to the grand, ominous tone of the film. And it’s a nice nod on Villeneuve’s part to Jodorowsky’s infamous never-realized plans for his Dune adaptation (which were documented in an acclaimed documentary).
Dune is scheduled to hit theaters on December 18, 2020.
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September 17, 2020