Stellan Skarsgard has joined the cast of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune reboot.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Skarsgard will play Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the villain of Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel.
The cast of the film already includes Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Dave Bautista. Principal photography is expected to begin this spring in Budapest and Jordan.
Dune tells a story of intrigue and betrayal as rival houses compete for power within an interstellar society. Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the heir to a house that takes control of the planet Arrakis. Arrakis is vital for its supply of the spice melange, but dangerous due to its desert-like environment and native tribes. Control of Arrakis also puts House Atreides in a precarious position, and betrayal from within leaves Paul and his mother to survive on their own.
Skarsgard’s Baron Harkonnen is the head of the house that controlled Arrakis previously, a rival house that has a longstanding grudge with the Atreides. The baron cedes control of the planet in order to set his enemy up for a killing blow. Bautista plays the baron’s deadly nephew, whom Harkonnen hopes to one day place on the throne as emperor.
The film’s script was written by Villeneuve, Eric Roth, and Jon Spaihts. Villeneuve is producing with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter.
Skarsgard is known for his roles in Marvel’s Thor and Avengers movies, as well as for Pirates of the Caribbean.
Dune was adapted into a film in 1984 by director David Lynch. The film is a cult favorite, but many feel it fails to capture the intricacies of Herbert’s novel. Villeneuve explained how his own approach compares in an interview with Yahoo.
“David Lynch did an adaptation in the ’80s that has some very strong qualities,” the filmmaker revealed. “I mean, David Lynch is one of the best filmmakers alive, I have massive respect for him. But when I saw his adaptation, I was impressed, but it was not what I had dreamed of, so I’m trying to make the adaptation of my dreams. It will not have any link with the David Lynch movie. I’m going back to the book, and going to the images that came out when I read it.”
Villeneuve is coming off of Blade Runner 2049. The film was critically praised and won two Academy Awards, but did not perform well at the box office.1comments
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Dune is being planned as a two-film project The first film does not have a release date.