Stellan Skarsgard Accepts His Destiny As Dune’s Baron Vladimir Harkonnen

by Erik Amaya


Stellan Skarsgard will try to control the spice and control the universe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor will play Baron Vladimir Harkonnen In Denis Villenueve’s upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Though a complex paradigm of power lies behind many of the inequalities in the known universe circa 10,191, the Baron is the principle antagonist in the first of Herbert’s novels and the most obvious villain thanks to Kenneth McMillan’s defining performance in the 1984 David Lynch directed Dune. Indeed, the baron of the novel is as shrewd and cunning as Macmillian’s version was boisterous and corpulent. The character was also played in the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries and its sequel, Children of Dune by Ian McNiece.

As the head of House Harkonnen, Skarsgard joins the recently announced Dave Bautista, who will play the Baron’s cruel nephew Rabban. The film will also feature Timothee Chalamet as young Paul Atriedes, the ducal heir of planet Caladan who finds himself at the center of a grand design to create a superbeing and determine the future of mankind, and Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, a member of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood who gave birth to Paul in defiance of their selective breeding program.

Since the casting news is coming quicker for this film, let’s talk about some parts that need filling. There’s Gurney Halleck, Dr. Wellington Yueh, Duncan Idaho, Thufir Hawat and, of course, Duke Leto Atriedes as part of the kindly group supporting Paul. The Baron, meanwhile, still needs his other nephew, Feyd-Rautha, cast and a handful of hangers-on like Piter DeVries and Nefud. There’s also a host of Fremen characters and the Padasha Emperor Shaddam IV and members of his retinue to be cast as well. Which means we’ll be watching the developments of Dune with great interest in the days ahead.

Erik Amaya

Host of Tread Perilously and a Film/TV Writer at and Rotten Tomatoes. A former staff writer at CBR and Bleeding Cool, and a contributing writer at Fanbase Press and Monkeys Fighting Robots. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.

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