Stellan Skarsgard has joined the growing cast of Dune, Legendary’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel being directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Dave Bautista are already on the call sheet for the big-budget feature that is headed toward a spring start and will shoot in Budapest and Jordan.
Dune, considered a sci-fi literary classic, tells the complex story of a fallen noble family’s attempt to control a desert planet named Arrakis and its export, a rare spice drug, while being betrayed by a galactic emperor.
Chalamet is playing Paul Atreides, the son of the ruler of the family, who is forced to escape into the desert wastelands and partner with its nomadic tribes. Using enhanced mental abilities, he eventually rises to become their ruler, with the nomads believing he is their messiah, and leads an army to overthrow the empire.
Skarsgard will play one of the villains of the piece, Baron Harkonnen, whose family previously ruled Arrakis and has a long hatred of the Atreides family, plotting with the galactic emperor to destroy it. He is also the uncle to the brutish character to be played by Bautista.
Other than his Northern European ethnicity, I see little "Harkonnen" in him. Kenneth McMillan and Ian McNeice may not have been the best, but each seems a litlle...well, let's face it, FATTER than Skarsgard. Even fattened up and wih red dyed hair, I'm just not feeling it with Skarsgard.
Depends of what kind of Baron Villeneuve wants to give us. McNeice was a bit closer to the book's description with the effete persona, but Lynch gave us a pretty disturbing maniacal Baron with more screen presence, and McMillan wasn't that great of an actor either. It's Lynch's characterization that made his Baron memorable. Now, I don't know which way Villeneuve will go, but Skarsgard is a more reserved actor who I don't see delivering that kind of Baron. Depending on who's cast, we might get the Emperor depicted as even more the prime mover here than in Lynch's film as a result.