The sands are shifting, and the anticipation for the second installment of Denis Villeneuve’s grand cinematic odyssey, Dune: Part Two, is rising like a sandworm in the vast desert of my excitement. While the first part of the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi masterpiece introduced us to the epic world of Arrakis and its intricate politics, it’s the whispers of praise from co-stars and crew about Austin Butler’s upcoming performance that have caught my attention. During a recent chat, Villeneuve dropped some intriguing comparisons to a snake, Mick Jagger, and even a psychopath that has left me even more eager to witness the Elvis performer’s work unfold on the silver screen.
Austin Butler is taking on the role of Feyd-Rautha, the younger nephew and heir of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and a skilled assassin known for his ruthless behavior, deceitful tactics, and cunning intellect. While speaking with Empire, Denis Villeneuve offered some striking comparisons that shed light on what we should expect from the Shannara Chronicles alum's portrayal of the villain. Villeneuve's knack for imaginative analysis was on full display as he described Butler's performance:
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.
Now, if that doesn't whet your appetite for what's to come, I don't know what will! The Sicario director's comments hint at a concoction of almost paradoxical qualities, blending danger and allure, precision and chaos. The fusion of a psychopath's demeanor with the elegance of an Olympic sword master is a collision I didn’t know I needed but, now, I'm even more pumped for the A-lister's role in the upcoming sequel.
In March 2022, news initially emerged about Austin Butler potentially joining the stacked Dune: Part Two cast, closely followed by reports of Florence Pugh being eyed for Princess Irulan. In the weeks that followed, both of their castings were officially confirmed. Joining them in the lineup of newcomers for the sci-fi follow-up are Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot, Souheila Yacoub as Shishakli and Tim Blake Nelson in a role that's yet to be revealed.
I've been eagerly looking forward to seeing Austin Butler's performance on the big screen but, unfortunately, our wait for the sequel has grown a bit longer. Part Two has been officially delayed amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. The highly anticipated second installment of the sci-fi saga has secured a new spot on the 2024 movie schedule. Instead of its initial November 3rd theater debut, it's now slated to hit screens on March 15, 2024. As disappointing as that is, considering Denis Villeneuve's description of Butler's take on the material, the wait will definitely be worthwhile when the film finally arrives in theaters.
If you're interested, you can use the extended wait time to watch the first Dune using a Max subscription -- not to be confused with David Lynch's 1984 film, which is available to Netflix subscribers.