Update: THR says Bautista “will play ‘Beast’ Rabban, the sadistic nephew of a baron who oversees Arrakis.” Our original article follows.
Dave Bautista and Denis Villeneuve: together again. Villeneuve directed Bautista in Blade Runner 2049, and now the wrestler-turned-actor is hopping aboard another sci-fi epic for the French Canadian filmmaker: Dune. Bautista is the latest addition to the Dune cast, which already includes Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson.
Deadline broke the news about Dave Bautista joining the Dune cast. They have no specifics on which character Bautista is playing, so we’re just going to take a wild guess here and say he might portray Gurney Halleck, a character played by Patrick Stewart in David Lynch’s much-maligned Dune adaptation. Or maybe he’s playing one of the giant sandworms. Who knows!
Timothée Chalamet is taking on the lead role of Paul Atreides, while Ferguson will play Lady Jessica. Villeneuve’s film is based on Frank Herbert’s massive sci-fi tome which has proven notoriously difficult to adapt to the screen. The tale is set roughly 20,000 years in the future, and focuses on the clashes of interstellar nobles. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones, but with more space stuff. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. As this planet is the only source of the oracular spice melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe, control of Arrakis is a coveted—and dangerous—undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.
Regarding his new adaptation, Villeneuve has described the film as “Star Wars for adults,” whatever that means. Villeneuve has also hinted that the movie will be split into two parts. Villeneuve has already proved himself as a filmmaker, so I have faith in this project. Then again, David Lynch had proved himself as a filmmaker when he made a Dune movie in 1984, and we all know how that turned out (not well).
Bautista has evolved into an interesting actor. He could easily be taking the same kind of roles as other wrestler-turned-actors take – see Dwayne Johnson, John Cena, and so on. But Bautista appears willing to challenge himself, and sign onto unique projects. He turned in a brief but memorable performance in Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, where he played a worm farmer who smashes Ryan Gosling through a wall.
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