Wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista has already collaborated once with director Denis Villeneuve, on Blade Runner 2049, and he’s now set to do so again, on another film related to a classic sci-fi property, no less.
Collider reports that Bautista has signed on for a key role in Villeneuve’s upcoming new version of Dune. He will play ‘Beast’ Rabban, the sadistic nephew of a baron who oversees the desert planet known as Arrakis. He joins Timothée Chalamet, who is already onboard to star as young hero Paul Atreides, and Rebecca Ferguson, who will play Chalamet’s mother.
Villenueve has co-written the script alongside Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, and the story will revolve around Atreides, whose family assumes control of Arrakis, only to be betrayed, which forces him to lead a rebellion to overthrow the new emperor.
Anyone that knows the source material – the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert – will know that the story is incredibly dense and complex, and will be a challenge for Villeneuve and co. to adapt. Even a master like David Lynch struggled with his 1984 version. This iteration of the story is said to explore themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship with nature.
Bautista found himself with an opening in his schedule after Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 was put on hold following James Gunn‘s firing, but he’s still scheduled for a busy year. He’s got the action-comedy Stuber lined up, in which he stars alongside Kumail Nanjiani, and will of course reprise his role as Drax in Avengers: Endgame, which will likely be the biggest film of the year.
So the cast for Dune is coming together well, but it will be interesting to see how the film eventually performs at the box office. Blade Runner 2049 was everything fans wished for, but it didn’t fare well commercially. If Dune disappoints financially too, there will be even less chance of studios backing an expensive sci-fi film, even if it is based on a brand with a built-in audience.
But for now, those questions are a long way off. Production on Dune is slated to begin in the coming months.