It feels like months have passed since we got a good and solid update surrounding Denis Villeneuve’s take on Dune. Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson were previously cast to headline the film, but that was months ago. Now, The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on the latest addition to the film. Turns out everyone’s second favorite wrestler-turned-actor*, Dave Bautista, looking for another adventure out in deep space. The move reunites him with Villeneuve, whom he previously worked with (to great effect) in Blade Runner 2049.
Bautista will be playing Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, also know as “The Beast”. Paul Smith (Popeye) famously took on the role in David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation. The character is nephew to the book’s chief antagonist, Baron Harkonnen and gained his nickname, after killing his father. As with most figures in the book, his part is partially that of a political pawn. His Uncle planned on letting him rule the desert planet Arrakis, through his penchant for cruelty. So that when the Baron’s own son, Feyd-Ruatha, would be instated in his place, he’d be embraced as a hero. Of course, things didn’t exactly go according to plan. If all of that sounds rather confusing, it’s highly suggested you check out the novel (as well as the sequels) asap. It won’t be necessary to enjoy the big screen counterpart, though it won’t hurt, either.
While a ton of lead spots have still need to be cast, the ones so far show Villeneuve isn’t messing around. Chalamet playing the lead, Paul Atreides, is something of a master stroke. Insuring an actor who has recently proved himself takes up a difficult role, while also convincing a legion of cinema-goers to buy tickets. The same goes with Ferguson playing his mother, Lady Jessica. For those who’ve read the novel (seriously, just go buy it already) it’s so easy to picture her in the part. Bautista rounding things out gives a clearer indication of how the “villains” of the piece may be portrayed. The mind reels over who could be cast as the Baron.
Granted this is just a small piece of news, but any news, is good news here. The fact that we’re getting a big budgeted two-part Dune film, is still very exciting. Through Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve proved that he has the ability to adapt other people’s work, creating something uniquely special. His being involved at the script level, along with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth, is even more encouraging. No release date is set for the picture, but we’re inclined to think that Legendary Pictures isn’t going to rush things. I mean, it’s not as if Dune has the most sterling reputation, as far as smooth productions go. Regardless, we’ll keep you up to date on the latest news concerning the project, as soon as it becomes available.
*Listen, Bautista may end up with the better resume in the end, but most people will always think of Dwayne Johnson first, in this category.