The sun has risen and set, the earth has turned, which means that it’s time for another massive collaboration for one of the biggest pop cultural behemoths on the planet — Star Wars, and Marvel canon continuity destroyer and a surprisingly good vehicle for Batman — Fortnite. This time it’s Dune, and while that’s not weird anymore, a cheekbone-less Timothée Chalamet certainly is.
Director Denis Villeneuve isn’t offering audiences a chance to watch a clip or some of his past movies within the battle royale game like his fellow directors Chris Nolan and J.J. Abrams — I think his head would possibly explode — instead Epic Games has recruited Chalamet and Zendaya, or at least their likenesses, to promote new skins for Paul and Chani available in the game. Gamers will be able to buy themselves the alternate skins, as well as accessories recreating Paul’s knives and Chani’s Fremen Maker Hooks, backpacks inspired by the Fremkits in the movie, a glider based on the Ornithopter, and, hilariously, an emote that makes your character walk like they’re trying to avoid disturbing a sandworm:
Anyway, it’s not that Dune is coming to Fortnite that’s the disturbing thing here. Fortnite is perfectly fun for the zillions of people who play it, and that audience base means that a movie tie-in is kind of like a line of Funko pops or weird ads where people playing immortal godlike beings shill cars: it’s to be expected. What’s not to be expected is how Fortnite’s cartoony art style — its blessing that manages to cohesively put Rey Skywalker, Deadpool, Lara Croft, Ripley from Aliens, and a banana in a tuxedo all in the same game so Superman can shoot them with a gun — has given us perhaps the most cursed visual to come from Dune yet: Smooth Chalamet.
Reader, it disturbs me. Everything we’ve seen of Paul’s gaunt demeanour in the new Dune is gone here, and Chalamet’s unique face has been filed down into that Fortnite style. A great thing was lost in the trip from Arrakis to Fortnite’s violent island, and for that, we must mourn. Or at the very least make Smooth Chalamet do the Floss.
The Dune cosmetics for Fortnite are available in-game starting today.
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