Thursday, January 09, 2020

"Dune" (2020) cast list, from Wikipedia

It's an impressive lineup for the cast of Denis Villeneuve's upcoming remake of "Dune." Part One of the saga comes out this year; I assume Part Two will be out in 2021. Wikipedia provides the following cast list:

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, the scion of House Atreides
Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Paul's Bene Gesserit mother and concubine to Duke Leto
Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, a nobleman newly bestowed with the stewardship of the dangerous planet Arrakis, source of the spice
Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, weapons master of House Atreides and Paul's mentor
Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, sworn enemy to Leto and former steward of Arrakis
Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, the brutish nephew of Baron Harkonnen
Zendaya as Chani, Fremen daughter of Imperial Planetologist Liet-Kynes and Paul's love interest
David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries, a twisted Mentat loyal to the Baron
Stephen McKinley Henderson, unknown role
Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam, a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother and the Emperor's Truthsayer
Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, swordmaster of House Atreides
Javier Bardem as Stilgar, leader of the Fremen tribe at Sietch Tabr
Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh, a Suk doctor in the employ of the Atreides family
I think Timothée Chalamet is a talented actor, so I'm sure he'll make a fine Paul Atreides. Rebecca Ferguson, on whom I've had something of a crush since "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation," is a great choice for Lady Jessica. I'm not so sure about Oscar Isaac and John Brolin, although I suppose Brolin can convincingly pull off the role of a crusty old warrior. Oscar Issac is a fine actor, but he lacks the chiseled gravitas that Jürgen Prochnow brought to the 1984 movie. Stellan Skarsgård is inspired casting for the gruesomely fat Baron Harkonnen; Skarsgård himself is soft but not fat, so it'll be interesting to see how he's made up. I hope Dave Bautista has more than a bit part as "Beast" Rabban; Paul Smith didn't have much to do in the 1984 role except gorge himself on food and get his head chopped off. Zendaya, as the new Chani, is a great replacement for Sean Young. David Dastmalchian ("The Dark Knight," "Ant-Man") has some of the creep factor that Brad Dourif had brought to the role of Piter De Vries, although I think Dane DeHaan would have been a better, and even creepier, choice. Charlotte Rampling strikes me as far too pleasant-looking to play the part of Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, a severe and formidable Bene Gesserit "witch" who was the teacher of Paul Atreides's mother Jessica. I think I'd rather see either Glenn Close or Alice Krige (the weirdly luscious Borg queen from "Star Trek: First Contact") in that important role. Jason Momoa will no doubt do solid work as Duncan Idaho, another of Paul Atreides's mentors, although it'll hurt to see him relegated to a minor role given his recent gonzo successes. Javier Bardem is a good choice to play Stilgar; he'll bring an ethereal weirdness to his performance as one of the Fremen leaders. I have no clue who Chang Chen is, but he gets to play the Judas role of Dr. Yueh, who betrays the Atreides family to the Harkonnens.

The most exciting thing about the upcoming "Dune" is that it's being helmed by Canadian genius Denis Villeneuve, whom I implicitly trust. As I've written before, Villeneuve is the perfect choice to put "Dune" on the silver screen; he has a sense of the epic, and his movies ("Sicario," "Arrival," "Blade Runner 2049") normally traffic in big ideas while moving at a stately, deliberate pace—just what Frank Herbert's 1965 novel deserves. I'm expecting big things from Villeneuve, and I'm anticipating groaning at the end of Part One, knowing I'll have to wait the better part of a year for Part Two to appear. I can only hope that, at some point in the future, Villeneuve will consent to have a four-hour supercut of the movie made.

So that's the cast for the upcoming "Dune." Your thoughts?

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