2019 saw a lot of constants come to an end: the latest Star Wars trilogy. The Chris Evans/Robert Downey Jr. era of the Avengers/MCU. Game of Thrones. The list goes on. With no more Kylo Ren, or Jon Snow, or Captain America, the world desperately needs a new sci-fi hero to latch onto. Enter Dune, and its hero Paul Atreides, played in this newest iteration by Timotheé Chalamet—the first photos from director Denis Villeneuve’s version of the film have been released in a Vanity Fair story, and he looks ridiculously freaking cool.
Dune is based on Frank Herbert’s iconic 1965 novel of the same name, a book that’s inspired numerous adaptions, sequels, and spin-offs throughout the years—none of which have ever really taken off to the fullest potential of the source material. With Villenueve directing, though, the hope is that things could finally be different. After all, this is a master of multiple genres—he’s been behind the camera for Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, all of which have been excellent.
Chalamet, too, is a major get. Since his breakthrough Academy Award-nominated role in 2017’s Call Me By Your Name, he’s become one of the hottest actors in the industry—it seemed like his appearance headlining a major blockbuster would be a matter of when, not if. And while he’s continued with great roles in the last few years—he also was in Beautiful Boy, The King, and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women—his time to headline a blockbuster has clearly arrived with Dune.
“The immediately appealing thing about Paul was the fact that in a story of such detail and scale and world-building, the protagonist is on an anti-hero’s-journey of sorts,” Chalamet told VF about the role. “He thinks he’s going to be sort of a young general studying his father and his leadership of a fighting force before he comes of age, hopefully a decade later, or something like that.”
EXCLUSIVE: Timothée Chalamet is Paul Atreides.
Your first look at Denis Villeneuve’s #Dune adaptation has arrived: https://t.co/Mz3HeIuCX8
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The cast for Villeneuve’s Dune, which is still set for release on December 18, is absolutely stacked. Aside from Chalamet, the roster also includes Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson (as Paul’s parents), along with Josh Brolin (as his mentor), and Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, and Stellan Skarsgård. Stacked.
In past versions of Dune, Paul Atreides has been played by Kyle MacLachlan (in David Lynch’s 1984 film) and Scottish actor Alec Newman (in a miniseries that was produced in 2000, along with its 2003 sequel series).
In addition to Dune, Chalamet also recently signed on to play Bob Dylan in a movie about the legendary singer-songwriter. As soon as things start to clear up with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like a big past couple years for Chalamet could start to become an even bigger future.
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