The Legendary and Warner Bros. Dune franchise has found its Emperor Shaddam. Deadline reports that Christopher Walken has been cast in Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated sequel for the sci-fi series.
Walken joins recently announced cast members Florence Pugh, who’ll play the Emperor’s daughter, Princess Irulan, and Austin Butler, who nabbed the villain role of Feyd-Rautha of House Harkonnen. The returning ensemble from last year’s Dune: Part One includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, and Josh Brolin.
Villeneuve is returning to helm the continuation of his adaptation of the first book in Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Part One pretty much covers about the first half of the story and introduced audiences to a taste of the dense mythology in store. In the sequel, we’ll likely see Paul (Chalamet) and Jessica (Ferguson) immerse themselves among the Fremen while Arrakis falls into political turmoil during another hostile takeover by House Harkonnen. Walken’s Emperor Shaddam will play a big part in this conflict, and we’re very excited to see his take on the character.
The film’s release date is coming up fast and Villeneuve recently spoke to that timeframe crunch in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “The good news is that a lot of the work has been done already regarding design, casting, locations, and writing. So we’re not starting from scratch. It’s not a long period of time, but I will try to face that challenge because it’s important for me that the audience sees Part Two as soon as possible. It’s not a sequel where it’s another episode or another story with the same characters. It actually has direct continuity to the first movie. It’s the second part of the big huge movie that I’m trying to do. So the sooner the better.”
Dune: Part 2 is set for release October 20, 2023.
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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.