At this point it’s probably safe to start a “Dune watch” hashtag or watch group. No other film has recently dominated the news as swiftly Denis Villenueve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel. A day after word coming out that Oscar Isaac was joining the production, they’ve gone and landed another big fish. Collider spilled the beans that Zendaya is in final negotiations to take on the role of Chani, love interest of Timothee Chalamet’s Paul. The former Disney star may not be the most notable household name, but she’s definitely vying for that kind of recognition. Specially after her appearances in The Greatest Showman and Spider-Man: Homecoming, not to mention this year’s sequel, Far From Home.
In the books, Chani is a major player and important piece in the shape the main trilogy takes. Not to wade in to too much of her story, but Zendaya will have her hands full playing the Fremen girl, who becomes a warrior and force to be reckoned with behind the scenes. It’ll also be curious to see who they then cast as Princess Irulan. The two are pitted against each other, fighting for Paul’s love. While Chani has his heart and trust, Irulan is a key political figure. Dune, like a lot of great 60’s and 70’s science fiction, is just as much about political maneuverings as it is giant battles and weird space cultures.
If there’s one thing all this casting has revealed, is that Legendary may be thinking”big”, when it comes to Dune. Sure, roping in big names is one facet, but another is their age. Compared to other adaptations, Villenueve’s take is skewing much younger. Part of that is to draw in a more diverse crowd, obviously. Yet, as previously mentioned above, there’s two other books in the original trilogy. The production turn around on this films won’t be rushed, which would naturally allow the actors to age into their roles necessary for the sequel. That may be wishful thinking, but it’s helpful to remember Legendary went into this planning for Dune to be split into two parts.
What do you think of Zendaya joining the ever expanding ranks of the cast? Would you like to see 4-6 potential Dune based films? Tell us in the comments. There’s no telling how much time may pass before more casting hits. Just don’t go expecting the frenzy to stop any time soon. Not with such major characters like Duncan Idao, Feyd-Ruatha and Irulan still waiting to be snatched up. When something else gets announced, we’ll update you. Though this whole thing feels one “Chris” away from causing the whole world to fold in on itself.