Denis Villeneuve's reboot of Dune adds Dave Bautista to its already star-studded cast. Thanks to works like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve established himself as one of this generation's finest sci-fi filmmakers. Fortunately for fans of the genre, the director is staying in that wheelhouse for his next project. Villeneuve officially signed on for the latest big-screen adaptation of Dune back in February 2017, but progress on the movie has picked up as of late. Most notably, the cast started to round into shape over the past several months.
Oscar-nominee Timothée Chalamet was the first actor to join, portraying lead character Paul Atreides. In September 2018, Mission: Impossible standout Rebecca Ferguson entered talks to play Lady Jessica, who is the mother of Chalamet's Paul. Having those two attached gives Villeneuve the makings of a great ensemble, and now yet another big name is coming along for the ride.
According to Variety, Bautista has joined the cast in an unknown role. This will mark the second collaboration between Bautista and Villeneuve, after their work together on Blade Runner 2049. In 2017's acclaimed sequel, Bautista played Snapper Morton, a replicant Agent K (Ryan Gosling) hunts down in the opening moments.
Bautista's career in Hollywood took off when he debuted as Drax in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. There, he earned raves for his impeccable comedic timing and sense of humor, but Bautista is far from a one-trick pony when it comes to acting. As he demonstrated in Blade Runner 2049, he can handle a more serious role with the grace and skill it requires, so he should prove to be a strong fit in Dune. It'll be interesting to see who Bautista ends up playing, as there are no shortage of characters from the book left to be cast. It's worth keeping in mind his casting doesn't necessarily mean he'll end up being a principal player. Remember, his part in Blade Runner amounted to little more than a cameo. Bautista may be one of the biggest names on the A-list right now, but he'll (understandably) work with an auteur like Villeneuve regardless of what the role is.
Conceivably, this should be the first of many Dune updates on the horizon. Reportedly, Villeneuve is eyeing a February 2019 start date, which would be a month from now as of this writing. That means there's precious little time remaining to iron out the remainder of the cast, but in all likelihood Villeneuve and company have people in mind and are just in the process of finalizing deals. Dune, a passion project of Villeneuve's he's been discussing publicly since 2016, has been long-gestating, but it's shaping up to be well worth the wait.