MCU Fans Noticed Something Oddly Familiar in a First-Look ‘Dune’ Photo

If you’re a fan of risk-taking, world-building, and science fiction in cinema, chances are high you’ll be interested in the upcoming film Dune. The highly-anticipated project boasts an insanely talented cast and crew looking to bring one of sci-fi’s most popular properties to life yet again.

So what’s the story behind this updated take on the beloved intergalactic tale? And is there a way it’s connected to another franchise — the Marvel Cinematic Universe? One movie fan pointing out a similarity in a recent first-look photo from Dune thinks it may be a possibility. 

The origin of ‘Dune’

Kevin Feige speaks onstage
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Dune was originally a novel by science fiction author Frank Herbert. The book tells the story of a desert planet known as Arrakis. The planet holds the fictional galaxy’s most precious commodity, known only as “spice.”

The main character is named Paul Atreides, a royal family member who fights to secure his home planet. The top of the food chain on Arrakis belongs to massive sandworms that live underground. It’s a rich, textured work that’s served as an inspiration for many sci-fi franchises set after it. 

Experimental filmmaker David Lynch took the first crack at a film adaptation in 1984, though critics panned the effort. In 2000, SyFy launched a critically acclaimed mini-series, though that’s been long forgotten by many fans. 

The first look at the ‘Dune’ remake

In mid-April, Vanity Fair released a piece in which they took viewers on a first look at the remake of Dune. It included multiple still frames from the upcoming film. The article discussed the filming of the new version — it’s a star-studded affair with Timothy Chalamet playing Atreides and also starring Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, and Oscar Isaac.

The film will be directed by visionary filmmaker Denis Villeneuve who also helmed Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners, and Arrival. 

The film shot in the beautiful, almost otherworldly locales of the Jordanian desert and Abu Dhabi. It will come out in two parts. According to Villeneuve, this was a necessity due to the scope of the story the novel tells:

“I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie…The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”

With the star power involved both in front of and behind the camera, there’s no question that movie fans highly anticipating this version of Dune. But what, if any, connection is there between Dune and the MCU? 

What MCU fans noticed in the first-look ‘Dune’ photo

In the first look photo of Dune, eagle-eyed MCU fans on Reddit pointed out that something in the background of one of the photos appeared to resemble a crest from S.H.I.E.L.D., the MCU’s government-operated organization tasked with overseeing the work of the Avengers.

It led fans to wonder whether there was some sort of connection between the two franchises. Could it be that Dune’s ultra-futuristic setting took place in the same universe in which Nick Fury and Agent Coulson attempted to keep superheroes like Thor and Iron Man in line? 

The answer? Maybe. One Redditor with the handle “20marvelgeek” summarized it best: 

“Dune was published in aug.1965, although not having read Dune, I’m not sure if the eagle insignia was mentioned in the book(s)…shield first debuted in strange tales #135, in Aug. 1965 as well, where it did have the eagle resembling logo, though not the one we see now…So, i probably think it’s highly possible that anyone could have got inspiration from the other.”

While there’s likely no connection between the two franchises, it’s possible one may have inspired the other. The most likely explanation, of course, is that it’s just a coincidence.