The second chapter of Denis Villeneuve's Dune might have found its first new star. On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Black Widow and Midsommar star Florence Pugh is in talks to join Dune: Part 2, the confirmed sequel to the 2020 sci-fi blockbuster. If Pugh joins the cast, she would portray Princess Irulan, the daughter of the emperor who has a key role in the larger world of Dune. According to their reporting, Pugh's casting is not yet a done deal, as the actress is reportedly awaiting the latest draft of the film's script, and a scheduling conflict might arise if Pugh stars in the Madonna biopic, which she is reportedly in contention for. The film's planned production in Hungary might also cause a logistical hurdle, given its proximity to the current war between Russia and Ukraine.
If Pugh does sign on for the project, she would join a cast that includes Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, and Javier Bardem.
"We have been hearing in the past few decades that it's not possible to adapt this book, and that it's an impossible task. I think that in the back of the mind of the studio, it's still the same!" Villeneuve told Total Film in an interview last year. "So the first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that – everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project. They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a Dune: Part Two, because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I'm very optimistic."
"I'm writing [Part Two] now, and I feel like I'm eight years old again," he added. "That's very uncommon for me. It's the first time I've experienced it where I'm watching one of my movies, and I have a moment of deep gratitude, of deep joy, and I say, 'Thank you, life, for having allowed me to bring that to the screen.' [laughs] I don't know how other people will feel about it. But me? Denis Villeneuve when he was 14 years old? Thank you."
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Dune: Part 2 is currently scheduled to be released on October 20, 2023.