Timothée Chalamet may soon become the “Shortening of the Way”
Deadline reports the Call Me By Your Name actor is in talks to star in Legendary Entertainment’s update of Frank Herbet’s Dune. The two-part film, to be directed by Blade Runner 2049‘s Denis Villeneuve, will chart the ascendancy of ducal heir Paul Atreides from his home on Planet Caladan to the Fremen deliverer known as Muad’Dib on Planet Arrakis (also known as Dune) and, finally, to the position of Emperor of the Known Universe. Along the way, he seizes control of the universe’s most important resource — the Spice Melange — becomes the metaphysical totality of at least two long-standing galactic disciplines, and discovers his actions will lead to a holy war.
If negations are successful, Chalamet will play Paul. Kyle MacLachlan played the character in David Lynch’s underrated 1984 version. Alec Newman played him in the Sci-Fi Channel’s 2000 miniseries and in its 2003 follow-up, Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune; which also featured James McAvoy as Paul’s son Leto, the future God-Emperor of Dune.
Dune is one of the most difficult sci-fi novels to adapt as it mostly consists of people sitting around drinking spice coffee discussing events taking place between chapters and their possible ramifications. Though there are large battles, they are generally the actions referenced in parlor scenes; making a true literal adaption of the work impossible. Or at least, an adaptation with the sort of franchise-building hooks studios would be interested in seeing. The Lynch version uses a shocking amount of Herbert’s dialogue and roughly 85% of his plot while adding space-gun fights to appease his producers. Villeneuve will presumably discard the space guns, but still amp up the action quotient.
With the news of Chalamet’s interest in the project, expect more casting new to emerge in the weeks ahead. Characters like Duncan Idaho, Lady Jessica and Dr. Yueh could attract some fascinating names.
Dune is not yet scheduled for release.