Dune 2 Will Make Zendaya the Protagonist
Dune, the sci-fi movie of the decade, hasn’t even come out yet, but we already know that there will be second part starring Zendaya.
“Dune” director Denis Villeneuve has revealed Zendaya will play the lead character in his planned sci-fi sequel. Speaking with Italian magazine Il Venerdì di Repubblica, per DuneInfo (and translated independently by IGN), Villeneuve expressed his eagerness to work on “Dune: Part 2″ and even confirmed that Zendaya would emerge as the protagonist of the adaptation’s next installment, taking the reins from Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides, who is the main focus of the upcoming release.
“I’m honored to present on-screen two talents (Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya) that are so explosive, and I can’t wait to shoot the second part of “Dune” to get them back together. Knowing that in the next chapter Zendaya will be the protagonist of the story,” Villeneuve explained, briefly touching on the prospect of the “Spider-Man” actress’ enhanced role.
Villeneuve’s upcoming “Dune” movie, in which interior scenes were shot in Budapest, at ORIGO Studios, is the first of a planned duology adapting Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel, which chronicles a power struggle between the warring houses of Atreides and Harkonnen in a distant future where a psychotropic “spice” known as Melange is the most coveted resource in all the universe.
In the movie, Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, a gifted scholar, and warrior whose very existence threatens the balance of power in the galaxy. He is forced to grow up quickly when his family encounters major hardships in their move to the desert planet Arrakis, where he must unite the free tribes of Dune and restore the honor of House Atreides.
Zendaya stars opposite Chalamet, portraying Chani, a girl who first appears as a recurring presence in Paul’s dreams. Chani is the daughter of Imperial Planetologist Liet-Kynes and a member of a nomadic Fremen tribe on Arrakis. She is instrumental in helping Paul learn the ways of the Fremen and seize his destiny as an intergalactic revolutionary.
“When I did the casting for Chani’s character, I met a lot of actresses,” Villeneuve told La Repubblica (translated by IGN). “Zendaya wanted to audition and today, after shooting the film and seeing what a wonderful actress she is, I’m sorry I auditioned her. It was just because I didn’t know her. However, that day, she impressed me and when she left the studio, I knew that Chani was her, the young desert tiger. I am honored to present two such explosive talents on-screen (Chalamet and Zendaya) and I can’t wait to shoot the second part of “Dune” to get them back together. Knowing that in the next chapter, Zendaya will be the protagonist of the story.”
Villeneuve had always planned “Dune” as a two-part film series, but this is the first we are hearing of his “Dune: Part Two” plans. In 2018, Villeneuve revealed that he only signed onto “Dune” as director for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros., on the condition that he would get a two-movie deal.
In an interview in 2020, he said: “I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie. The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.” And so, when in late 2020 WarnerMedia said all 2021 Warner Bros. titles would have a day-and-date release on HBO Max, Villeneuve was frustrated because he felt it jeopardized the future of his franchise.
“Dune” has been in production for several years now. It was originally set for a November 2020 release but was subsequently delayed a year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite reports of a 45-day exclusive theatrical release window, it is currently set for a same-day release in theaters and on HBO Max.