Casting Dune 2 – Vanity Fair first look reaction

Hi everyone,

I realised today that I haven’t written anything about this film. After all those posts about the first instalment, I’ve been completely silent on this one. It’s getting close to trailer time; it can only be a few days before we all get to see something that only a few have seen so far. The anticipation for the first part went on so long that I think I just consciously decided to step back and let it all happen in the background. That, and I have been extraordinarily busy. Anyway, today, we got to see some images from the film and I thought I’d share my thoughts (with the three or four people who’ll see this post).

So, Paul and Chani as you’d expect. I do wonder how much will find its way into this film. Specifically, about their first child who is killed: Little Leto. That will be a lot of emotional weight to fit in to the running time and I wonder if it will be cut. Rebecca Ferguson looks the part again. All I see on social media is criticism as far as she’s concerned and i really don’t get it. I think she nailed it; that quiet deadliness. You could see it there but she wasn’t given the scenes to demonstrate it. Oh to have seen her square off against Thufir Hawat! Never mind. Seeing this, though, I remember we’ve no word on Aria yet. What are people’s thoughts on how she will be portrayed? Will it be an actual toddler? That could be really unsettling and brilliant.

Then we’ve got long-haired smuggler, Gurney. Is he smiling in this picture? Hard to tell. Another plot point that went adrift was all the suspicion cast in Jessica’s direction. That’s another part of the book that I love – when Gurney finally gets his chance to confront the witch. It hasn’t featured so far and I can’t see it coming into Part Two. Too much other ground to cover. It’s been described as an ‘epic war movie’, which is a departure from the book. Most of the war in the book happens between the lines. I think the film will go a different way and I think it will be spectacular to watch.

Which brings me to Rabban. Dave Bautista is a big name and Rabban is a big character. Given what an absolute monster he is, it’s always a shame that, in the book, he is dealt with ‘off screen’. There’s no way that will happen in the film. Although we haven’t been told by the film of Rabban’s history with Gurney, it’s never too late to bring it in.

That would tee up an epic showdown between two big-hitters. Much more cathartic to have Gurney deal with Rabban in single combat. I’d love to see that. Nice prelude to what is to come afterwards. I’ve predicted this before and I’m going to double down. There will be a fight scene with Gurney and Rabban.

It will be nice to see more of Stellan Skarsgard in Part Two as well. He did such a good job that I really hope he is give more time to shine. I do love his conversations with Thufir, Feyd and Fenring (among others) in the book.

Javier Bardem put in a good shift as Stilgar too, stealing most of his scenes. It will be great to see more of his character in Part Two as well.

This brings us to the new additions. Florence Pugh is a big name and a bold casting statement. I think this bodes well for a Part Three in the future. Let’s face it – Irulan doesn’t have much to do in the first book except stand around looking ‘haughty’ (and be quoted, obviously). They’re either going to Julie Cox it and give her a much expanded role or they are setting her up for her bigger part in Part Three – what would be Dune Messiah. The former doesn’t make much sense. The way they used Julie Cox in the mini-series was to have her role do the job of Margot Fenring – but we’ve got a Margot Fenring in this film, so she can’t do that. I think we will get a little more of her to help introduce us to Shaddam, and then she will get a bigger crack at things in Part Three if we get it.

We can see Lea Seydoux as Margot Fenring below. It’s interesting how she’s just referred to as Lady Margot in the promotional stuff. Tim Blake Nelson has also been cast but isn’t listed with a part – I wonder if he’s Hasimir. He would be a decent choice. Looks like a bit of an odd dandy but could rip you apart without breaking a sweat. I wonder how they will be used – probably as a way for the audience to spend more time with the Harkonnens – a bridge.

Then there’s Austin Butler as Feyd. Such an interesting character. I’ve always wondered about him. He’s set up as a great adversary and yet everything he does points to him being a bit useless. He’s fought so many people in the arena but they’ve all been drugged out of their minds. He has serious problems defeating a drugged and wounded Atreides trooper, yet he is the big fight at the end against a battle-hardened Paul who is basically Neo/Bruce Lee by this point. I don’t doubt he’ll present more of a challenge in the film.

So, we’ve yet to see anything of Alia, and we’ve yet to see Christopher Walken as Shaddam. I’ll admit this is the first casting choice that has left me a little disappointed. I really, really wanted it to be Damian Lewis. I thought he would have been perfect. He looks about the same age as Leto, has the Corrino look, does a wonderful sneer of cold command. He would have been ideal in my mind. I just think Christopher, Walken. Is maybe, a bit, too old. I love him, but I don’t see him as Shaddam. I’ll happily be proved wrong and eat my words though.

So, those are a few thoughts. I can’t wait to see the trailer. Anticipation building!!!

Cheers for reading



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