Timothee Chalamet’s Description Of ‘Dune: Part Two’s ‘Worm Unit’ Is What Cinema Is All About

While everyone was being mesmerized by Timothee Chalamet’s swoopy hair and defined cheekbones in the first Dune installment, director Denis Villeneuve was quietly preparing what would be the hardest task of his life: crafting a giant worm.

The sandworms appear in the first film, but Villeneuve said they needed to have a clear vision of how the characters would interact with the giant creatures for Dune Part Two. In the original text, there is not much to go on. “In the book, it’s just written, ‘and then Paul rides the worm,’” Villeneuve told EW, “With no real clues of how a Fremen will actually jump onto a sandworm, this great beast with high speed and tremendous power.”

Due to the lack of wormy details, the director had to decide how the slimy guys would be portrayed on screen with the actors. “So from the worm behavior that we had created in Part One, I had to figure out how a human being could approach that: What is the Fremen technique? What do the maker hooks like? How do you use them? It required a tremendous amount of [research and development],” he added.

That research and development turned into what became The Worm Unit. Despite its name, it is not a unit of measurement categorized by giant worms, but it was a whole team dedicated to just the worm sequences in the film. Chalamet described the process: “You go to the Worm Unit, and you go up this ladder onto a platform. You get on a little slab of worm — I hope that’s never taken out of context — that they practically built, like a scale. And then you get two gripping devices.” He didn’t explain what the “gripping devices” are but it’s good for the actor to learn how to get a grip every once in a while.

As far as Villeneuve is concerned, the Worm Unit saved the movie. “If it were not for the Worm Unit, I would still be shooting the movie right now,” Villeneuve says. “Some of those shots took weeks to do. It was technically very intense because I wanted a level of realism that has not been seen before, and I wanted to make sure that the audience would absolutely believe in Paul’s journey. That was by far the most complex sequence I have ever done in my life.” In reality, Villeneuve could have saved a lot of time researching by just watching the Alaskan Bull Worm episode of Spongebob Squarepants and mimicking those moves, but maybe he needed to figure that out on his own.

So now you know how to craft your very own Worm Unit. All you need is a Worm Slab and two “gripping devices.” These should not be hard to find!!

(Via EW)