Casting Dune – Timothee Chalamet initial reactions

My Fantasy Casting – Dune post has done really well since I wrote it at the end of last year and I’ve been watching updates about the project from Brian Herbert on Facebook. Earlier in the week, the first big casting announcement (not confirmed yet) emerged in various sources and I wanted to share my initial thoughts here.

My first reaction when I saw Timothee Chalamet’s name was, “Who?” I don’t get to the cinema very often these days and I’d never heard of him.  The accompanying articles told me that he had delivered a great performance in Call Me By Your Name but I’d not seen it.  I have since watched the first half, I’m really enjoying it and I must say that I think I’m liking the idea of him taking on the role of Paul Atreides.

My first image of the role is Kyle Maclachlan. I’d seen the film version before I read the book and I think that in some way he will always be Paul to me. He had the look of the dutiful son and had gravitas by the bucketload that really suit the character.

paul

When I read the books, it was Maclachlan’s face I saw in my mind. The SyFy miniseries came along and Alec Newman, who I really like as an actor, took on the role.

Newman_Paulatreides

I liked aspects of Newman’s performance, especially later on in the story and definitely as The Preacher in the Children of Dune mini-series. However, I was turned off fairly early on in the first one by the way, and this is probably down to the writing, Paul was played like a sulky teenager upset with his lot in life. This was an idea I had never picked up in my readings of the book.

Now we have Timothee Chalamet.

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He has the right kind of look in my opinion, a lithe ‘whipcord of a youth’ as he is described in the book. He has the haughty look of royalty but also a subtlety of expression that will go over well. I saw some people commenting on the announcement saying that he would have to beef up for the role but really, I think his physique is perfect. He’s a wiry type, perfect to play a deadly knife-fighter.

I watched a YouTube video from Collider about the announcement but it was a couple of guys who clearly had no real insight into the book or project itself (one of them had never read it or seen the film) so I thought I would do something myself.

Since the announcement, Brian Herbert has been on Facebook asking people for their opinions on the actors they would like to see play Leto and Jessica, Paul’s parents. I’ll stick to my original selection of Kyle Maclachlan (think this would be a great nod to the original and he would be fantastic as the weary duty bound Leto) and Tilda Swinton.

Having said that, the look of Chalamet made me think that Tom Hiddlestone might be a decent fit for Leto. The pair of them share a similar look and I think he’s a great actor.

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I shall post more updates and opinions as things are announced. This is one of the film projects that I’m genuinely excited about at the minute and I can’t wait to see how it turn out. The casting of the 1984 version was so good that it will be hard to top but I’m very hopeful.

So, my verdict on Timothee Chalamet: Very hopeful!

Thanks for reading

Richard

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