With production on Denis Villeneuve‘s upcoming reboot of DUNE set to begin this spring, the cast of the sci-fi epic is quickly coming together, and THR has reported that the latest addition to the cast will be Charlotte Rampling, most recently seen as the the Headmistress of the Sparrow School which instructed Jennifer Lawrence‘s character in RED SPARROW.
The actress will be playing the Reverend Mother Mohiam, “the emperor’s truthsayer, a person who can divine intentions, suss out lies and manipulate people’s emotional states.” Siân Phillips played the role in David Lynch‘s DUNE back in 1984. The rest of the cast includes Timothée Chalamet (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME) as Paul Atreides, the young heir to the Atreides family who is betrayed and forced to escape into the desert wastelands. Together with the nomadic tribes, Paul discovers his mental abilities and leads an army to overthrow the empire. Rebecca Ferguson (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT) will play Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica, with Stellan Skarsgard set to play the villainous Baron Harkonnen, the leader of a family who previously ruled the planet of Arrakis and harbour a deep resentment towards the Atreides family, and Dave Bautista (BLADE RUNNER 2049) playing Glossu “Beast” Rabban, the sadistic nephew of Baron Harkonnen. This new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic novel has been scripted by Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth, and Jon Spaihts.
The director’s plans for DUNE certainly seem quite ambitious, as he’s previously said that he hopes to make DUNE into the STAR WARS movie he never saw. “Most of the main ideas of Star Wars are coming from Dune so it’s going to be a challenge to [tackle] this,” Villeneuve said. “The ambition is to do the Star Wars movie I never saw. In a way, it’s Star Wars for adults. We’ll see.” The director has also said that his goal is to make DUNE into “two films, maybe more,” which would certainly be a good way to ensure Herbert’s dense story isn’t cut into a million pieces.