“An animal caught in a trap will gnaw off its own leg to escape. What will you do?” 

The question is posed to Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) in the first trailer for “Dune,” which premiered Wednesday. One of the most legendary sci-fi epics of all time is inching closer to its release.

The new film, directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Sicario”), is the latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary science fiction novel — a property that has never been adequately captured on screen, despite its massive influence on science fiction. (Previous adaption efforts include the 1984 David Lynch film and a Syfy Channel miniseries from 2000.) “Dune” is currently scheduled for a Dec. 18 theatrical release.

Set in the future, “Dune” tells of a family who rules the valuable desert planet Arrakis. The planet contains melange, a powerful drug that’s considered the galaxy’s most valuable resource. Paul Atreides, one of the family members, develops visionary abilities and must navigate a war between his family’s race and the Arrakis natives.

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There’s a lot more to it than that — “Dune” is a sprawling epic “that’s also dense with heady concepts of metaphysics, human consciousness and ecological morality,” according to Variety. (For Villeneuve’s breakdown of the trailer and its many elements, check this recent Entertainment Weekly feature.)

This new “Dune” trailer showcases the film’s A-list cast, which includes Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Oscar Isaac and Zendaya. It’s a lot to take in, but from the looks of it, this new “Dune” might be the book’s best adaption yet.