Deadline is reporting that Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet is in talks for the lead role of Paul Atreides in Dune, Legendary Pictures’ new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel. Denis Villeneuve is set to direct, from a script by Oscar Winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Munich)
Here’s the plot of Dune courtesy of Barnes & Noble:
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides—who would become known as Muad’Dib—and of a great family’s ambition to bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.
A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
There are two previous adaptations of Dune. The most (in)famous is David Lynch’s 1984 film starring Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides and Virginia Madsen as Princess Arulan. SyFy also aired a three part miniseries in 2000. That’s actually a pretty good adaptation and adheres more to the source material than Lynch’s version.
From what I hear this is a bit of a passion project for Villeneuve. If he brings half the game he brought to his previous work I think we are in for quite the cinematic treat. He’s built up quite a resume with films like Incendies, Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival and last year’s Blade Runner 2049.
Villeneuve seems to prefer more thought provoking stories than action-oriented spectacles. That’s not to say he can’t bring the action when he wants to, both Sicario and Blade Runner 2049 have some great set pieces, and with the epic story Herbert crafted in Dune there is immense potential for both.
Chalamet joining Dune would be a big “get” for both sides. For the actor, it’d be huge because of the high-profile project and the director. For the film itself, nabbing Chalamet would be big because of the buzz around the rising star following his breakout performance in Call Me By Your Name.
Dune is the first book in a series by Frank Herbert, and its Legendary’s intention that this film launch a new franchise.
There’s no release date set, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as one is announced.