New Direction for ‘Dune’ Might Anger Fans, End in Cancelled Series

in Entertainment, Movies

(left to right) Zendaya as Chani, Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune

Credit: Warner Bros.

Will the Warner Bros. blockbuster get cancelled?

Zendaya holds Timothee Chalemet's face in a still from 'Dune'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Warner Bros. Officially Cancels Major 2023 Release

“Dune” is a science fiction epic written by Frank Herbert published in 1965. Set on the desert planet of Arrakis, the story follows young Paul Atreides as he navigates political intrigue, environmental challenges, and power struggles among the noble houses of an interstellar feudal society. The novel explores themes of religion, politics, and ecology, and it has become a seminal work in the science fiction genre, spawning sequels, adaptations, and a dedicated fanbase.

Zendaya as Chani in 'Dune'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Dune, also titled Dune: Part One, is a 2021 American epic science fiction film by director Denis Villeneuve. The screenplay, co-crafted by Villeneuve alongside Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth, brings to life the first segment of a two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s renowned 1965 novel of the same title.

The movie introduces an impressive ensemble cast, with Timothée Chalamet taking on the role of Paul Atreides, the heir of House Atreides. He is joined by Rebecca Ferguson, who portrays Lady Jessica, Paul’s Bene Gesserit mother, while Oscar Isaac adds his talent to the film as Duke Leto Atreides, Paul’s father and the head of House Atreides. Other notable cast members include Josh Brolin as weapons master Gurney Halleck, Jason Momoa as swordmaster Duncan Idaho, Sharon Duncan-Brewster portrays Dr. Liet Kynes, while Stephen McKinley Henderson is Thufir Hawat, the Mentat of House Atreides. Zendaya also portrays Chani, a young member of the native Fremen tribe, led by Javier Bardem as Stilgar, while Babs Olusanmokun portrays Jamis, a Fremen from Sietch Tabr.

Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho in Dune
Credit: Warner Bros. / HBO Max

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On the antagonist’s side, Stellan Skarsgård embodies Baron Vladimir Harkonnen/Baron Harkonnen, leader of House Harkonnen, the former steward of Arrakis, and adversary to House Atreides. Dave Bautista takes on the role of Glossu Rabban, his nephew. The cast further includes Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh, Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam, Golda Rosheuvel as Shadout Mapes, and Roger Yuan as Lieutenant Lanville. This illustrious cast contributes to the film’s rich tapestry of Dune‘s characters.

The Dune Sequel: In Trouble

Amid recent news of the Writer’s Guild of America/WGA writer’s strikes and SAG-AFTRA actor’s strikes hitting Hollywood particularly hard, it was recently announced that the sequel to Dune, Dune: Part Two, also directed by Denis Villeneuve, has had its original 2023 November release date scrapped. Now, the movie is delayed to release in 2024.

Continuing the story from where the first film left off, this second part further adapts Frank Herbert’s novel and follows Paul Atreides as he joins forces with the Fremen people on the desert planet Arrakis to battle against House Harkonnen. Now, a recent interview with director Villeneuve has brought to light some new information that might shock fans of the film series.

christopher walken dune 2
Credit: Warner Bros

Discussing Film recently reported on Empire‘s interview with the Dune filmmaker, highlighting a particular quote about the possibility of a Dune: Part Two sequel. Villeneuve states that he would be keen to adapt Herbert’s 1969 “Dune” sequel, “Dune Messiah”, in order to fulfill his “dream” of “making a trilogy”.

Naturally, those on the internet familiar with Herbert’s original work responded, such as Twitter (X) user @NicholasPas5, who started a discussion that went viral about the unfortunate trajectory a third Dune movie might bring to fruition:

Can’t wait for people to watch Paul Atreides turn into the worst possible person in the Galaxy

Other users like @DustyOyinbo commented that this “new” direction for the Dune films would inevitably result in Timothée Chalamet’s character Paul Atreides getting “cancelled” by the general public due to his descent into conquering “messiah” after being the somewhat relatable protagonist of the previous films:

Oyinbo: Can’t wait for him to get cancelled

Nicholas: #PaulAtreidesIsCancelled #NotMyDuke

Of course, there were some fans who were naturally upset at this news, condemning the original poster for these “spoilers”, like @Pro_tein98. Users like @F_UT_U_RE quickly responded in defense of the original statement:

@Pro_tein98: Stop these spoilers

@F_UT_U_RE: Books like a million years old

Meanwhile, others yet seem excited for this potential future, despite the likelihood of film fans rioting should Villeneuve choose to follow the novel’s depiction of the Paul Atreides character. As @saiiinnnnt posts with an image of Al Pacino in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019), satisfyingly saying, “What a picture”:

Paul turning into Space Adolf Hitler

At the end of the day, whether fans of the Dune movies who haven’t read the books will get upset at the villainous turn of events remains to be seen. Let’s see how Dune: Part Two does before anticipating a Dune: Part Three.

What do you think about Denis Villeneuve sticking to the original portrayal of Paul Atreides? Will you keep watching if Dune‘s protagonist becomes a bad guy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

More on Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two features a captivating ensemble cast, with Timothée Chalamet as the exiled Duke Paul Atreides, known as Muad’Dib by the Fremen. Zendaya takes on the role of Chani, a Fremen warrior and Paul’s love interest, while Rebecca Ferguson portrays Lady Jessica, Paul’s Bene Gesserit mother and concubine to his late father, Leto Atreides. The cast includes Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Paul’s mentor and former weapons master of House Atreides. Austin Butler embodies Feyd Rautha Harkonnen, the youngest nephew of Baron Harkonnen and planned successor of House Harkonnen, described by director Denis Villeneuve as a blend of charisma, madness, and charm.

Florence Pugh appears as Princess Irulan, the Emperor’s daughter, and Dave Bautista portrays Glossu Rabban/the Beast Rabban, the fierce nephew of Baron Harkonnen. Christopher Walken takes on the role of Shaddam IV, the Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe, and Stephen McKinley Henderson embodies Thufir Hawat, a Mentat loyal to House Atreides. The exciting cast also features Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam, and Javier Bardem as Fremen leader Stilgar. Souheila Yacoub and Tim Blake Nelson also contribute to the ensemble.

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