How quickly things can take a turn from being stagnant to a raging river. Months went by without many developments concerning Dune‘s latest trip to the big screen. Now, we have two big casting moves within 36-ish hours. Just yesterday we told you Dave Bautista was coming on board as Glossu Harkonnen. Today, The Hollywood Reporter brings the exciting news that Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation and has gone and found its central villain. And wouldn’t you know it, he also happens to hail from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stellan Skarsgard is set to gingerly step into the role of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.
This is truly exciting news. Not only is Skarsgard a brilliant actor, but one who can easily shift between being daft, warm, weird, mean or a stone-cold killer. In fact he displays most of these traits in the underseen In Order Of Disappearance. To most that’s not the image that immediately come to mind. So, while taking on the role of a tyranical despot is right up his alley, a few people will be shocked. Regardless it’s still great casting.
Like the news the other day though, it doesn’t quite give us the clearest picture for how Villeneuve plans to tackle Frank Herbert’s novel. That’s largely because, at least when it comes to Vladimir, he’s a rather “rotund” fellow. While vainly fit in his youth, the Baron was infected with a neurological disorder that made his body swell up, appearing as if he was obese. So much so, that he had to get around using a cane or a special suspensor suit. In David Lynch’s Dune he was covered in boils are really gross. On the other hand, the SyFy mini-series didn’t go to such lengths, as Ian McNeice played him more with a devilish twinkle in his eye. Simply put, Baron Harkonnen is as evil as he is fat, which is to say, exorbitantly so.
The other tidbit tucked away in the THR article, is that the film plans to begin shooting early Spring. Primarily in Budapest and Jordan. With that just over the horizon, you can expect several more big name parts to be announced sometime soon. Maybe even as early as tomorrow. We have no clue really, but we never expected to have this crop up all of a sudden. In this case, more news is good news. Which we will be sure to post here on the site, as soon as it becomes available. To paraphrase a line from the mini-series “The (casting) saga of Dune is far from over…”