Zendaya pays homage to classic sci-fi film with her cyborg suit

During the screening of Dune 2 in London, Zendaya was dressed in a cyborg costume. A bridge between a very famous science fiction film, released in 1927, and the SF event of 2024.

Who would have imagined such a crossover between fashion, pop culture and science fiction? At the UK premiere of Dune: Part 2Zendaya was dressed of an impressive combination, transforming her into a sort of cyborg.

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Created by fashion designer Thierry Mugler, it was first presented at a 1995 fashion show. The screening of Dune 2the sci-fi film where Zendaya plays Sayi, was a perfect opportunity to bring out this outfit.

From 1927 to 2024

The combination corresponds to a whole science fiction imagery. On social networks, many have seen the codes of the droids of Star Wars, in particular the slender C-3PO. In reality, Thierry Mugler was inspired comic book heroines — like Catwoman — but also and above all from the film Metropolis.

Zendaya's suit is inspired by the android from the film Metropolis (1927) on the right. // Source: Warner Bros. UK (photo by Zendaya)
Zendaya's suit is inspired by the android from the film Metropolis (1927) on the right. // Source: Warner Bros. UK (photo by Zendaya)

This feature film is considered one of the first sci-fi films in the history of cinema: signed by German director Fritz Lang, it dates from 1927. It was silent, and in black and white. Obviously aiming to be futuristic, its plot is set, get this, in 2026 (in two years at the time of publication of this article)! The film took its title from the dystopian city it presented, a dizzying, ultra-technological megalopolis, divided between an upper, rich city and a lower, poor city. A common motif in SF.

At the heart of this society, there was an android: its design would inspire a whole concept of robots of this type in cinematic sci-fi. (Note that at that time, we were not even talking about “robots”.) It was, in 1927, the most expensive film in the world in terms of production, at 6 million Reichsmarks — Dune 2 cost 122 million dollars, which is economically difficult to compare almost a century later (the Reichsmark has not existed since 1948).

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The android from the 1927 film Metropolis.The android from the 1927 film Metropolis.
The android of the film Metropolis from 1927. // Source: Metropolis.

The jumpsuit worn by Zendaya thus makes the astonishing link between the first SF film and the SF event of the year 2024. The opportunity to remember how much the cult universe of Dune was the subject of a real cinematographic challenge: the 2021 film had been a kind of miracle, after the aborted attempt by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

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Chani, played by Zendaya in Villeneuve's Dune. // Source: WarnerChani, played by Zendaya in Villeneuve's Dune. // Source: Warner

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