Crouching Dragon, Hidden Dragon star Chang Chen has joined the cast of Legendary Entertainment's Dune, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chen joins a cast that already includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, and David Dastmalchian. The cast is star-studded to the point that it's become a running joke on social media. Denis Villeneuve directs from a script he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts. Villeneuve is producing with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter. Legendary Entertainment looks set to begin filming the production within the next month.
In Dune, Chen will play Dr. Yueh, the trusted but treacherous doctor in the employ of House Atreides. Chen is best known for playing the bandit Dark Cloud in Ang Lee's 2000 wuxia epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. More recent roles include playing the lead in Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin in 2015, appearing in martial arts film Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield in 2017, and roles in the dramas Mr. Long in 2017 and Forever Young in 2018.
Dune is based on Frank Herbert's classic 1965 sci-fi novel of the same name. Here's the film's synopsis that appeared in a recent issue of Production Weekly (which may not be official):
"The trouble begins when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atredies, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium."
Dune was adapted into a film in 1984 by director David Lynch, with Kyle MacLachlan in the lead role as Paul. The film is a cult favorite, but many felt it failed to capture the intricacies of Frank 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," Villeneuve said in the interview. "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."
Are you excited about the new Dune movie? Let us know what you think in the comments! Dune opens in theaters on November 20, 2020.