Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming two-part adaptation of Dune It was launched in recent months. In that time, we have been inundated with various casting stories, showing a movie that is shaping up to have a truly impressive cast of actors. That’s great news, given that the movie will be depending on them to convey its famous story of a feudal struggle in the distant future.
The cast that we could get for this movie is really something. Oscar Isaac is in negotiations to play Duke Leto Atredies, the leader of the Atreides house that rules the desert of the planet Arrakis, while Rebecca Ferguson will play his wife, Lady Jessica. They are the parents of Paul Atreides (who will be played by Timothée Chalamet), who flees into the deserts after his home is brutally attacked. Javier Bardem is in talks to play Stilgar, the leader of the nomadic Fremen who take Paul and then make him their spiritual leader as he leads a rebellion against the Harkonnen family. Zendaya is in talks to play Chani, a Freman man who will eventually become Paul’s wife, and the mother of Leto Atreides II and Ghanima, who both play major roles in the later installments of the series.
The antagonists of Dune They are shaping up to be no less compelling. Stellan Skarsgård has signed on to play Baron Harkonnen, the leader of the house that covets the film’s titular planet. Guardians of the Galaxy Y Blade Runner 2049Dave Bautista will play Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, who spearheads the brutal occupation of Arrakis after the Atreides family is ousted from power.
Dune adaptations always come with good molds.
That’s an impressive roster of talents lined up for the film, as one Twitter user observed, “It’s like #DenisVilleneuve is trying to make sure there’s no question that everyone needs [see] his new vision for “Dune”. Whenever it was adapted for film, the book has always benefited from an excellent cast; if it’s Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Stewart and Sean Young; Sting in the 1984 David Lynch film; or performances by actors like William Hurt, Alec Newman and James McAvoy in the SCIFI channel adaptations. Had it been done, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt in the 1970s would have boasted an eye-opening cast of figures like Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, David Carradine and Mick Jagger.
But Jodorowsky’s. Dune It was never made, and despite its own fans, none of the adaptations have come close to the same impact that Herbert’s original novels made among writers, directors, and fans. It’s obvious it’s too early to tell, but with this cast, Villeneuve’s point of view on the book is off to a really solid start, assembling a dream team with a cast that looks like it’s taking on bigger franchises like The Avengers.
Audiences have been trained over the past decade to appreciate adaptations of famous and multi-layered works, such as Marvel’s Kinematic Universe, JRR De Tolkien Lord of the Ringsand George RR Martin Game of Thrones, and in many ways, Dune – with its extensive network of books written by Herbert, and later, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson – it is the ideal extended universe for a comparable franchise. Having a stellar cast will be doubly important for a job like Dune, because the full weight of this famous and dense and complicated story of a power struggle between families in a feudal galaxy (and the potential of a great multimedia franchise) will rest on the shoulders of whoever Villeneuve brings.