The next film from Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is coming together quite nicely. It’s called Dune, it’s a massive sci-fi adaptation, and the cast thus far is incredible. Timothee Chalamet is onboard to lead the Frank Herbert adaptation as Paul Atreides, the son of a fallen noble family who is forced to escape to the desert and partner with its nomadic tribes. His enhanced mental abilities lead the nomads to believe he’s their messiah, and he ultimately leads an uprising against a galactic emperor.
One of the film’s villains has now been set, as THR reports that Stellan Skarsgard has signed on to play Baron Harkonnen, a man whose family had a long hatred of the Atreides family and plots with the galactic emperor to destroy it. Skarsgard’s character is also the uncle to a brutish character to be played by Dave Bautista. As if that wasn’t enough, Rebecca Ferguson co-stars as Chalamet’s mother.
Villeneuve has long been a fan of the Dune novel and selected the project as his big follow-up to Blade Runner 2049, which was a critical hit but fell somewhat short at the box office. Villeneuve co-wrote the Dune script with Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Jon Spaihts (Passengers), and filming is due to begin this spring in Budapest and Jordan.
There’s been talk of Villeneuve’s Dune movie actually being a two-parter, but it’s unclear if both parts are being shot together as one long movie or if that all just depends on how this first movie does. Villeneuve’s Blade Runner and Sicario cinematographer Roger Deakins was unavailable, so he’ll continue his penchant for working with incredible DPs by bringing Zero Dark Thirty and Rogue One cinematographer Greig Fraser onboard. Moreover, Indiewire reports that he’ll be reuniting with his Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival editor Joe Walker on the project. Walker is one of the best in the business, having also edited 12 Years a Slave and Widows.
Dune doesn’t yet have a release date from Legendary Pictures, but we can’t wait to see it.