Denis Villeneuve is adding yet another big name to the highly anticipated sequel of Dune, as Deadline is reporting that Christopher Walken has joined the film.
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Walken will take on the role of Emperor Shaddam IV, the ruler of the known universe and the man who initially sends the Atreides family out to Arrakis, which kickstarts the downfall of their house. In Dune: Part 2, the Emperor will play an even larger role, as he and Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) will have to try and quell a rebellion that begins to form.
Production on the sequel film is set to start later this year, with the film already planned for an October 20, 2023 release. Walken’s latest role in a film came from his appearance in 2020’s Wild Mountain Thyme, but Walken also starred in Apple TV+’s latest hit original series, Severance, in a role that earned the actor praise for his performances alongside John Turturro.
Once again directed by Villeneuve, the sequel will pick up where the first film left off, continuing the story based on Frank Herbert’s epic 1965 science fiction novel. The outlet notes that there is another major part currently being cast during the pre-production of the project: Princess Irulen, the Emperor’s daughter. Florence Pugh is reportedly being eyed to portray Princess Irulan.
Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. are hoping to begin filming this summer. Warner Bros. will release Dune: Part 2 on October 20, 2023.
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2021’s Oscar-nominated Dune is directed and executive produced by Villeneuve from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth. It is produced by Cale Boyter, Joe Caracciolo Jr., and Mary Parent. Oscar-winning and multiple Oscar-nominated composer Hans Zimmer (Blade Runner 2049) created the score. The film earned over $400 million worldwide.