Javier Bardem becomes the latest big name to join the cast of Denis Villeneuve's Dune adaptation. The Oscar-nominated director is finally moving ahead on his passion project, intending to start production in the relatively near future. By simply being another sci-fi movie from Villeneuve (helmer of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049), Dune already ranked pretty high on cinephiles' most-anticipated lists. But excitement for the film has only intensified with each casting update, as Villeneuve has assembled quite the talented ensemble to bring Frank Herbert's novel to life.
Much like Rian Johnson's Knives Out and Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Villeneuve's Dune boasts a who's who of A-listers. Among the names who have already signed on are Timotheé Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, and most recently Zendaya. Villeneuve isn't stopping there and now he has another widely respected thespian onboard.
According to The Wrap, Bardem is currently negotiating a deal to portray Stilgar, Fremen Naib of Seitch Tabr. In David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune, that character was played by Everett McGill.
The Fremen play an integral role in Dune, taking in protagonist Paul Atreides (Chalamet) and his mother Lady Jessica (Ferguson) when House Atreides falls under attack. The two sides work together to establish a rebellion to fight for the planet of Arrakis, with Paul in particular teaching the Fremen how to build and use weapons. Many viewers know Bardem for his creepy villainous roles in films like No Country for Old Men and Skyfall, but it sounds like this will be something of a change-of-pace for the actor. Stilgar is an ally of Dune's heroes, so it'll be interesting to see what the Oscar-winning Bardem brings to the table. He certainly has the talent and range to make his Stilgar a memorable character, meaning viewers should be in for a treat. Plus, Bardem has past experience with big-scale genre pictures, so he won't be out of his element on something like Dune.
While several big Dune roles are now filled, readers of the book know there are other characters still to be cast. There may be some more announcements to make on this front before Villeneuve rolls the cameras, and there's no telling who else could join the project by that time. The director obviously has big plans in store, envisioning his Dune adaptation as a multi-part epic that could eventually become "Star Wars for adults." The idea of starring in something like that and working with a talented auteur like Villeneuve definitely has its appeal, and just by the names in the cast, Dune is shaping up to be a special project.
Source: The Wrap