Director Denis Villeneuve has shown a penchant for bringing wonderful science fiction to life. Once considered a director who favored intense stories, such as “Prisoners” or “Sicario,” the Oscar-nominated Villeneuve has turned a bit. In 2016, “Arrival” shocked many filmgoers, etching its place within the genre as a new “Close Encounters” style film. Then “Blade Runner 2049” soared, earning cinematographer Roger Deakins his first Oscar win. Many believed that Villeneuve’s choice to direct a “Dune” reboot would mean Deakins would be an obvious choice as the DP. However, it appears that Deakins will sit this one out, and Greig Fraser will instead shoot the new films.
According to IndieWire and Kris Tapley of Variety, Fraser has boarded the ship to the distant galaxies that make up the “Dune” universe. Fraser earned his first Oscar nomination in 2016 for shooting “Lion” from Garth Davis. However, most of his filmography fits in with Villeneuve’s taste in films. He worked as the DP on “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in 2016 as well. He also shot the brutal “Zero Dark Thirty,” so action films are very much in his wheelhouse. Even his work on “Foxcatcher” and “Killing Them Softly” suggests the ability to do darker material.
Regardless, Fraser has shown the ability to shoot big-budget films, as well as intense handheld sequences that Villeneuve enjoys building in his work. The world of “Dune” can be spacious and jaw-dropping. With Villeneuve providing the vision for the film, there is little doubt that will be the case. Look for impressive visuals from the combo of Fraser and Villeneuve. Perhaps Fraser will be the third DP that Villeneuve helps direct to a cinematography nomination.