Stellan Skarsgard Confirms His Villain Isn't in New Dune Very Much

After multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new live-action take on Dune is officially being released later this fall. The highly-anticipated film, which will bring to life Denis Villeneuve's vision of the iconic Frank Herbert novel, features a star-studded ensemble cast that fans are definitely excited to see. Among those is Stellan Skarsgard, who is expected to play the villainous Baron Harkonnen. In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Skarsgard spoke about the process of working on the new Dune film, and admitted that his character "doesn't show up for too much," but will still pack a punch within the narrative of the film.

"I did eight or ten days on the movie, so my character doesn't show up for too much, but his presence will be felt," Skarsgard revealed. "He's such a frightening presence where even if he doesn't say anything, I think you'll be afraid of him. And I'm extremely fat. I had eight hours in the makeup chair every day. And in some scenes, I look very tall because I levitate. You're going to have a lot of fun with it."

"The thing about it, and why I'm looking forward to this film as well, is because it's Denis Villeneuve," Skarsgard continued. "Whatever he does, he creates an atmosphere that is dense, that you can touch, and you're just sucked into it. You're never bored—even if he does long, slow takes. The atmosphere builds up, and you're in his universe. I think it will be the same with this one. He's lovely to work with, and a beautiful man."

Given the fact that Dune is only expected to cover around half of Herbert's original novel, the relatively small appearance from Baron Harkonnen does make sense. As those involved with the project — particularly, cinematographer Greg Fraser — have explained, the film itself will still feel relatively standalone.

"It's a fully formed story in itself with places to go. It's a fully standalone epic film that people will get a lot out of when they see it," Fraser shared with Collider last year. "It was quite an adventure visually. It was a beautiful experience making it. The people involved with it, I was overwhelmed. Some of the actors, as well as being insanely talented actors, are just lovely, lovely people who I've become very close to since then."

The cast of Dune also includes Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Zendaya as Chani, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, and Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam.

You can check out the official description for Dune below!


"A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive."

Dune is expected to be released on October 1st.