The Big Picture
- Austin Butler’s transformation as Feyd-Rautha Harkkonen in Dune: Part Two showcases his immense sex appeal, and charisma, making him the perfect choice for the wildest member of the Harkkonen clan.
- Léa Seydoux’s character, Lady Fenring, is shrouded in mystery, and director Denis Villeneuve aims to retain that intrigue in his adaptation of Dune.
- The enigmatic Bene Gesserit and their impact on the universe are central to his vision.
Tragically, our return to Arrakis has been held up by four months, but in the meantime, Empire has been dropping some exclusive Dune: Part Two imagery, and the latest features Austin Butler‘s unrecognisable display as the ruthless Feyd-Rautha Harkkonen staring down Léa Seydoux‘s Lady Fenrig. The Academy Award-nominated star of Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis has certainly shed himself of his blue suede shoes for his latest role.
And that’s exactly what director Denis Villeneuve wants, as he explained to Empire, adding that Butler’s “sex appeal and charisma” was all part of the reason for casting him as the wildest member of the Harkkonen clan. “Austin brought something that is a cross between a psychopath killer, an Olympic sword master, a snake, and Mick Jagger. He has tremendous sex appeal and charisma and madness. It’s really out there,” Villenueve explains.
As for Seydoux’s character of Lady Fenring—a Bene Gesserit sister who has a minimal presence within the novels written by Frank Herbert, but whose role has been vastly expanded upon for the films—Villeneuve is slightly less forthcoming, noting that there’s an air of mystery to the character which he is keen to retain. “I don’t want to talk too much about Lady Fenring,” said Villeneuve. “She’s part of the spider web of the Bene Gesserit, but I want to keep the mystery around her. My version of Dune is different because the thing that really seduced me about the book was the Bene Gesserit,” he says. “My adaptation is more oriented toward their impact – they are the puppet masters of the universe!”
Struck Down By Strikes
The postponement of Dune: Part Two arrives amidst the prolonged strikes, stretching well beyond the initially anticipated weeks and into months. The ongoing SAG-AFTRA industrial action has rendered actors unable to engage in promotional activities for both upcoming projects and their previous works. Consequently, the high-profile A-list cast of the film will find themselves confined to their homes during what should have been a significant promotional push to draw audiences to theaters.
As well as Butler and Seydoux, the film also stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem, and Charlotte Rampling. New faces include Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corrino, and Christopher Walken plays Emperor Shaddam IV, while the up-and-coming actor Souheila Yacoub appears as Shishakli, and Tim Blake Nelson has been cast in an undisclosed role.
Dune: Part Two arrives in theaters on March 15, 2024. Check out the trailer for the film down below.
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