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Casting Dune (2014)

March 11, 2010

UPDATE: 4/19/2011

Well, according to this link (http://www.deadline.com/2011/03/paramount-ends-4-year-attempt-to-turn-frank-herberts-dune-into-film-franchise/), the Paramount deal is dead in the water and the rights have reverted back to the original owner, who while he still seems interested in shopping it out to another studio, I have my doubts.   Still, I think this original post is still a fun way to dream about the ideal cast,  IF another version ever gets made at this point.

 Here I give my own(exalted) opinion of who would be  a great fit for the major roles.  I’ve listed a first and second choice for the main cast.  Most of my choices are relatively unknown in the US, but I think that would be a wise route for Morel to take.  Casting only bankable US actors could backfire big time in such an epic.

Paul “Muad’ Dib” Atreides

Character Description:  Paul begins the novel as a highly intuitive young boy – skilled in the arts of combat and mental agility.  He is the heir to one of the great noble houses of the universe, and might be the key to an ancient prophecy.  Paul must age in the movie from a young teen to an adult.

 

First Choice: Ben Whishaw.  Ben is best known for playing immortal poet John Keats in the indie flick Bright Star and for playing Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited.  He’s capable of the depths of the role, and manages to look either young or deceptively older depending on the role.   He could believably look innocent and conceal depths of emotion and cunning.  Proof?  Watch his eerie lead performance in Perfume: The Story of  a Murderer.  I think being a relative unknown here in the U.S. could work to the film’s advantage.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0924210/

Alternate: Ben Barnes.  I’m not sure if he could manage the depths that Whishaw can, but he did show some range as the spoiled and vain titular character in The Portrait of  Dorian Gray, and was a handsome action hero in Prince Caspian.  I think the role should go to a relative unknown – especially for US audiences.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1602660/

Duke Leto Atreides

Character Description: Duke Leto is Paul, the  protagonist’s, father.  Leto is commanding yet fair to his people and holds true love for his concubine – Lady Jessica.

First Choice:  Mark Strong.  He was amazing as the villain Lord Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes, and has been consistently wonderful in many a small role in British cinema.  

IMDB link:   http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0835016/

Alternate: Martin Csokas.  He was one of the best things about Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, playing the dastardly Guy de Lusignan.  He can also play an aristocratic good guy to the letter – see his performance in Aeon Flux.  LOTR fans will recognize him as Celeborn. He’s currently in theaters playing Alice’s father in the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0190744/

Lady Jessica

Character Description: Lady Jessica is the mother of Paul and concubine (not a wife, but sworn companion) to Duke Leto.  She turned her back on the Bene Gesserit (a mystical and powerful sisterhood who seek to control the bloodlines of the empire) to bear Duke Leto a son rather than a girl who would provide unity with  rival house Harkonnen.

First Choice: Cate Blanchett.  Yeah, she’s a big name and would probably never consider it, but she’s got the range and the ability to travel the extremes of Jessica’s story.  It’s tough to find the balance between cold beauty and fiery strength that personifies Jessica’s character.   Blanchett’s not afraid to tackle a tough role, and it would be her first foray into true sci-fi (if you count LOTR as fantasy).

IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Cate+Blanchett

Alternate:  Elizabeth Mitchell.  Possibly a surprising choice, but after seeing her work on LOST as Juliet, she can definitely tackle the role.  She’s another beautiful actress who can play steely/powerful quite well.  It could be a career-making role if the film lives up to expectations.

IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0593310/

Duncan Idaho

Character Description: Although not as central in the first book as in later volumes, Duncan is Paul’s mentor and trainer.  He is the Swordmaster to the Atreides.

 

First Choice: Richard Armitage.  Who you say?  If you lived over the pond you would know.  He’s best known for playing a brooding Guy of Gisborne in the BBC’s Robin Hood re-boot (seen here on BBC America)and as an agent in their highly popular Spooks series (known here as MI5). 

IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0035514/

Gurney Halleck

Character Description:  Gurney is also a mentor to young Paul.  He is a warrior and also a devoted musician.

 

First Choice: Sam Neill.  Neill has a knack for playing mentor roles (Jurassic Park, The Tudors).  He’d also be believable as a love interest for Jessica (as well as an expanded role)  should the sequels ever materialize.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000554/

Baron Harkonnen

Character Description:  The fat, vile baron is the sworn enemy of House Atreides.

 

First Choice: Ray Winstone.  Winstone’s performance as Mr. French in The Departed was menacing and crafty.  He is heavy-set with a booming, powerful voice and a twinkle in his eyes.  Yet it was his stunning leading role in a 200o miniseries as Henry VIII that I believe qualifies him for being a perfect baron.  Let’s face it – Henry VIII WAS a 16th century real-life Baron…

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0935653/

Alternate: Brendan Gleeson.  This powerhouse Irish actor was fantastic in Gangs of New York, and impressive as Mad Eye Moody in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0322407/

Glossu “Beast” Rabban

Character Description: the Baron’s blundering, blood-thirsty nephew

 

First Choice: Jason Flemyng.  He’s a little long in the tooth for the role, but I think his physique and demeanor are perfect.  He was one of the only saving graces in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,  and played a psychotic brother role well as Primus  in the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002076/

Feyd-Rautha

Character Description: the Baron’s vain and buff nephew and heir.

First Choice:  Jonathan Rhys Meyers.  Morel has already worked with him in To Paris, With Love.  He’s buff and can play “bad” (see Henry VIII in The Tudors).  He has already played a slightly deranged fellow as Steerpike  in BBC’s Gormenghast miniseries.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001667/

 Emperor Shaddam IV

Character Description: Blustering, power-hungry emperor of the Imperium and known universe

 

First Choice:  Bill Nighy.  Seriously – what CAN’T he do?  He can eat this role for breakfast. 

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0631490/

 

Alternate: Jason Isaacs.  He’s currently playing evil patriarch Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, and first broke out as the evil Colonel Tavington in The Patriot.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005042/

Princess Irulan

Character Description: Shaddam’s highly intelligent, cold and calculating eldest daughter.   Excerpts from her historical writings frame the novel.

 

First Choice: Romola Garai.  She starred as the titular character in this winter’s adaptation of Emma on Masterpiece Theatre.  She’s an icy blonde who can play cool well (see her role as the elder Briony Tallis in Atonement), but manage through her eyes to show the torment beneath.

IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0304801/

Count Fenring

Character Description:  Shaddam’s closest advisor.  Edited out completely of all previously filmed versions of Dune.  Let’s hope someone puts him back in the action.

 

First Choice: Michael Sheen.    This British character actor gave gravitas to the Underworld franchise as the Lycan leader, and was wonderful in Frost/Nixon. He manages to be threatening with a glint of supreme intelligence.

IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0790688/

Reverend Mother Helen Gauis Mohiam

Character Description:  Bene Gesserit leader who also works for the emperor.  Believes Paul is an abomination – he stands in her way of controlled the bloodlines of the major houses.

 

First Choice: Lindsay Duncan - This veteran British actress has chewed the scenery in many a mini-series, but is probably most well-known in the U.S. for playing Servilia in Rome and the crazy Brit in Under the Tuscan Sun.  She is currently playing Alice’s mother in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0242026/

Stilgar

Character Description:  Paul’s Fremen mentor and cheiftain of Sietch Tabr, where Paul seeks refuge.

First Choice: James Frain.  He’s a go-to actor and has played a wide range of roles, from intellectuals to bullies.  He oozes wisdom from his pores.  He’s only 41, but manages to seem older (or at least an old soul).  His standout roles have been as Thomas Cromwell in The Tudors and Bassianus in Julie Taymor’s bloodfest adaptation of Titus.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0289656/

Chani

Character Description:  Fremen girl who becomes Paul’s true love and concubine

First Choice:  Alexa Davalos.  She’s already a sci-fi vet – having played Kyra in The Chronicles of Riddick and landed a recurring role for Joss Whedon on Angel.  She will be seen as Andromeda in this spring’s Clash of the Titans,  and was also Daniel Craig’s love interest in Defiance.  She’s a babe, but can also handle her weapons – perfect for Chani.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1111968/

It should be interesting to see what happens when the casting news for this re-boot surfaces.  Here’s hoping for a dream cast!

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE REGARDING COMMENTING ON THIS POST:

This post has become increasingly popular over the past year and I have LOVED hearing all the wonderful ideas and feedback that has been posted, but I occasionally get some “trolls” who want to negatively rip on comments/participants or rant about minute details from the novel.

I love 99% of the comments – thanks to those who are positive and creative without being “troll-like”. Keep all the positive and creative comments coming!

As for the others -

Please keep comments respectful and on-topic, and do not demean others who post their views.  If you do not choose to follow these “rules”, I reserve the right to delete your comments.   You have a right to your ideas, but I have a right to run my personal blog with dignity and respect.

This is my PERSONAL blog, and is devoted to many topics and films other than Dune.  If you would like to rant or grumble in-depth about events, characters or philosophy regarding the original novel, please seek out a blog/site devoted strictly to Dune. 

Here are some suggested forums:

http://forum.dunenovels.com/phpBB2/

http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Dune_(novel)

For commenting about the movie version:

http://www.the-movie-portal.com/dune-2012/

http://images.imdb.com/title/tt1160419/board/thread/169492503?d=170679496&p=1

THANKS!!

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44 Comments leave one →
  1. RegencyRomantic permalink
    March 12, 2010 12:04 am

    Love your dream cast! Most of them my favorites, as well. =)

    Just a little quibble. Richard Armitage played Guy of Gisbourne in the Robin Hood tv series, not Sheriff of Nottingham.

    • March 12, 2010 2:26 pm

      You are so right! I became a little disenchanted with BBC’s Robin Hood mid-way through season 2. I’m a little rusty! I changed the post to reflect my mistake.
      Armitage was wonderful in North and South – I’m hoping for those same depths from whomever they cast in Dune!

  2. Byron Merritt permalink
    April 28, 2010 3:42 am

    Great choice of cast. Hope your decisions are that good when they do the real casting. I am the great grandson of Dune i will be working on the set of Dune i hope to meet that type of cast. ANymore good ideas send them my way to my email.

  3. May 30, 2010 4:06 pm

    Wow I could never have come up with a list this good. I agree 100%, especially with James Frain.

  4. sarah permalink
    June 3, 2010 3:32 am

    I love the cast listing you have posted. This is the first sensible list that I have seen! As a die hard Dune fan and reader, this list makes me very happy. I hope the casting crew does this good of a job, or just follows your list!

    • Jim permalink
      June 22, 2010 10:13 pm

      Awesome! Now do it with Americans!

      Just joking Alyssa, but maybe change the channel from the BBC once in a while. :)

      Some of these are INSPIRED, especially Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Feyd and Lindsay Duncan as the Rev. Mother.

      But Paul needs to be played by an American, or at least an Australian. The Brits just don’t have that hero quality, sorry. Josh Duhamel or James Franco would be perfect.

      Duncan Idaho is a sexual tyrannosaurus. His ghola out-sexed the Honered Matre. He can sexually imprint a eunuch.

      That guy you have up there, well he just doesn’t f’n cut it. Now I know I’m a heterosexual guy but seriously you can do better on that one.

      George Clooney would be perfect but he’d never do it. Christian Bale would be awesome, again would never do it.

      I’m thinking you need to go Pierce Brosnan perhaps. I mean isn’t Bond the best Duncan Idaho in known history?

      • June 24, 2010 6:54 pm

        I agree on Christian Bale – he would make a FANTASTIC Duncan. The problem is that since Duncan Idaho is not a big focus in the first book, getting a major actor to play him would be tough. Richard Armitage has the whole smolder/Blue Steel factor happenin’, which is what I love about him.

        I really struggled trying to find someone who could play Paul. Right now, there’s no young twenty-something actor I can think of who can play “intelligent action hero”. Americans are great at the action hero part – it’s the emoting they have trouble with. You need someone along the lines of Sam Worthington (Australian and aciton hero combined), but with more talent. I think maybe a TOTAL unknown would be the way to go…

  5. Judith permalink
    July 8, 2010 10:31 am

    Thanks for posting updates on ‘Dune.’ Can’t believe there’s a movie in the making!!! And I can’t wait for it!!! Good choices on casting.

  6. Nko777 permalink
    July 28, 2010 3:51 pm

    Ha ha ha !!! I thought I was the only one to think about Dune’s perfect cast :-)
    Ok, so, Lindsay Duncan as Rev Mother Helen Gaius Mohiam is a very good choice… I first thought about Angelica Huston, but the more I remember Servilia, the more I think she could be great too for the character.
    My personnal cast :

    Chani : Golshifteh Farahani

    Lady Jessica : Polly Walker (who also played in Rome series) or Alicia Witt (young Alia in David Lynch movie) or Catherine Zeta Jones.

    Duncan Idaho : Christian Bale ! Definitely !!!

    Duke Leto Atreides : Benicio Del Toro.

    Feyd Rautha : Tom Felton (Drago Malefoy in Harry Potter movies)

    Gurney Halleck : Willem Dafoe.

    Padishah Shaddam IV : James Purefoy (Rome again^^) or Jeremy Irons.

    Beast Rabban : Tom Sizemore (those who know Scagnetti in Natural Born Killers would agree)

    Thufir Hawatt : Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery… yeah yeah, I’m not afraid :-)

    Wellington Yueh : Stan Egi (you can see him in “Rising Sun” movie, featuring… Sean Connery.

    • July 28, 2010 10:44 pm

      Some great ideas!

      I like Polly Walker as Jessica – she might be a little too old, but the right vibe for sure – very devious yet attractive! She was incredible on Rome. I like the idea of Purefoy as Shaddam. The character of Shaddam is younger in the books, but most of the adaptations play him as an older man. Maybe it’s time for a younger Emperor!

      • Nko777 permalink
        July 29, 2010 9:49 am

        Now… the problem is : Paul.
        Which young actor could play Paul. While seeing the Lord of the Rings, I thought about Elijah Wood. But I’m afraid he would play “with his eyes” too much :-)
        Some told about Robert Pattinson. Hmmmm he could be a great Paul, but he might be hard to convince…

      • July 29, 2010 2:51 pm

        I’m beginning to lean towards the idea of a complete unknown for Paul. You need a young, honest actor for that part. Maybe someone who hasn’t been in Hollywood very long would bring more life to the role.

    • Lars permalink
      December 19, 2012 3:56 am

      An actor from Perth in Australia called Steve Innes would be a good choice for Idaho, or even Halleck for that matter, and which is my preference.
      He’s a stage actor primarily, and turned down roles in Fringe and Grimm in favour of his touring obligations. He’s quite Scottish, much like Stewart was in the original and very physical, in a cultured and learned way.
      Worthington? He’s also from the UK, like Innes, but has lost most of that classiness and poise that comes from the good breeding that both had, favouring the cringeworthy “Aussie Bogan” persona and accent, that does not really compute off Australian shores.
      Idaho is supposed to be a senior confidant in Leto’s inner circle, I’d say, a man in his mid 40’s at least.
      Innes is about 44, tall, weathered and rugged, befitting the warrior he is, where Worthington is only about 36, short, and youthful looking at that.
      That all said, does this film really need to be populated with so many Australians, as usual?

  7. Garrett permalink
    August 1, 2010 5:02 pm

    My choices:

    Paul can be an unknown, but to be honest, it’s going to be very difficult trying to find a young actor (I think whoever plays Paul should be 18-22) who is experianced and mature enough to play the character. I prefer my two choices in the video since they are would both be young during production (18-19) and are experianced, great actors who are very mature.

    Duke Leto should be somebody who comes off as calm, cool and commanding. When I think of Atreides features (other than the dark skin and dark hair) such as the “hawk features” and “thin” face I think Tom Cruise. Obviously I’m not suggesting him in the role (They couldn’t sign him, and he’s just too short) but that’s the image I had of Duke Leto when described in the book, just taller, with darker hair and skin.

    Lady Jessica is definately going to have to be an experianced actress who can deliver Jessica’s dialogue and character. Polly Walker come to think of it would be great as Jessica IMO. Cate Blanchett would be good (a bit tall though) if she isnt too busy with other projects.

    Cast any doofus as Rabban, my choice was the brother from my name is earl, the king of doofus’s, in all seriousness though, his portrayal as a complete a$$ in American History X along with his doofus side in my name is earl combined would be the perfect Rabban, but thats just me.

    Sam Niell would be a great Gurney Halleck, a bit too good looking, but could work.

    Stilgar, umm no. James Frain doesn’t have the skin tone or features too pull a Fremen (I always imagined them as middle eastern or native american looking)

    The actress for Chani is a little too old to play Chani, but could work.

    Emperor Shaddam has red hair and I believe the spice made him look like he’s in his 40’s. Bill Nighy could work, I couldn’t see James Purefoy at all. If we are going to cast somebody from Rome to play Shaddam that it has to be either Kevin Mckidd (Lucius Vorenus) for a younger version of the emperor or Ciaran Hinds (Julius Caesar) as an older version of the emperor.

    The Baron has to be somebody who is all ready a heavy frame and with make up could look so obese to the point where it looks like he actually NEEDS the suspenders (I think, lol, can’t remember the name) Ray Winstone could work, but doesn’t really strike me as The Baron, Brendan Gleeson on the other hand does remind me of the Baron, especially in Troy.

    PERFECT choices for Duncan Idaho, Princess Irulan, Gaius Mohiam, and Count Fenring.

  8. August 1, 2010 8:09 pm

    Garrett, I like your idea about Viggo Mortensen as the Duke. I’d never thought of that one. He’d be awesome.

    It looks like we have some of the same choices for the minor characters – glad I’m not the only one who sees those folks in the roles.\

    I really hope they don’t choose to go too “Hollywood” and use only big names in the major and minor roles.

    I just wish the studio and director would get a move on and start making the movie at some point! I’m getting impatient.

    • Nko777 permalink
      August 2, 2010 8:43 pm

      Waw ! Yes !!! Viggo Mortensen would make a great Duke Leto !

      And what about Kenneth Branagh to play Shaddam ? He’s got style, he could perfectly play the ‘easily bored and lazy’ character.

      Now… I also hope we won’t have a ‘Hollywood’ casting… but I guess we’re going to have a lot of american actors if Pierre Morel calls people he used to work with in his previous movies.

      Imagine : John Travolta as Duke Leto o-O
      Liam Neeson as Shaddam IV
      Famke Janssen as Jessica
      Katie Cassidy as Irulan
      Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Feyd
      … and Luc Besson as Vladimir Harkonnen :-)

  9. August 3, 2010 3:25 pm

    I have to say, John Travolta anywhere in ANY adaptation of Dune would be enough to make Frank Herbert roll over in his grave!

  10. Mervin permalink
    October 10, 2010 11:50 am

    I do agree with most of the cast. But with Paul being 18-22, would it be too much, since the character in the book stated he was 16 at that time. I think they should cast some unknown, whether it is an American or Australian, at least 16 or 17. At least that would keep in spirit of the book.

  11. Oliver Ryan permalink
    October 13, 2010 12:46 pm

    Not bad at all mate…………But Brendan Gleeson aint a Brit he grew up just down the rooad from me in Dublin!

  12. Oliver Ryan permalink
    October 13, 2010 12:47 pm

    Road lol

    • October 13, 2010 4:31 pm

      You’re right, of course – he’s 100% Irish! I need to brush up on my research. Definitely NOT a Brit. We Americans have a bad habit of lumping together our English, Welsh and Irish, unfortunately. Usually I’m much better about that, though!

      He’s an awesome actor and was incredible in Gangs of New York and In Bruges.

  13. bonnie wright permalink
    October 18, 2010 12:45 am

    I like all the choices–except Sam ONeil’s position. He’s great, but I cannot see him as the Duke. I like your choices for the Lady Jessica–I also see Uma Thurman as Lady Jessica, because she portrays strong so well. I so hope that they do not give watered down versions of the Bene Gesserits, like they did in the made for TV movies.

    It seems better to get an older (than 16) actor to play Paul, because the character has so much training that it would take a great deal of maturity to play the role and the character has to age a lot in the movie.

  14. David Novak permalink
    November 4, 2010 2:29 am

    How does one apply for a role in this movie?

  15. Matthew Brooks permalink
    November 6, 2010 9:20 pm

    Great cast list. However, I’m not too fond of Sam Neill in that part, and I think Stilgar and Chani should be played by Middle Eastern talent. Also, for the role of Piter De Vries, I think Peter Stormare would be amazing. Helen Mirren would be a great Gaius Helen Mohiam too.

  16. Jon MH permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:50 am

    I really agree with not going for blockbuster actors for both Paul and Chani, and I think your choices are excellent! Especially for Chani, that would be a very good match i believe!

    I read that they are considering Pattinson or Shia Lebeuf for Paul, both would be horrible in my oppinion… I really dont think you need a big name in the title role til sell Dune. If they choose this, its a clear sign that they are going mainstream, which would suck somewhat!

    Anyways a few of my own additions.

    Sam Neil is WAY to handsome til play Gurney, even though hes a great actor. Also he is getting to old for the part, i dont think i will really believe hes the greatest swordsman in the galaxy. Lets get the old one back (yes I know that wouldnt work, but Steward was epic in the 1984 movie).

    Thufir – Michael Caine
    Piter – Cillian Murphy (Piter is quite young i think, hes the opposite of Thufir)
    The Baron – Albert Finney
    Duncan – Tom Hardy
    Jessica – Mélaine Laurent (but only if Blanchett says no…)
    Yueh – David Strathairn (perhaps hes to old, but i see Yueh as distinguished and older than most do)

    Just a couple of ideas :-)

    • November 9, 2010 7:16 pm

      I like the idea of Tom Hardy as Duncan. He’s hard at work with Chris Nolan on the new Dark Knight movie right now, but he would be a good choice!

    • Nko777 permalink
      November 9, 2010 7:21 pm

      Yeah ! Tom Hardy as Duncan would be great. He’s wonderful in Inception. Cillian Murphy as Piter is a great idea too.

  17. November 13, 2010 6:40 pm

    Thanks to all the positive and creative participants who make this post so popular. I’d love to keep hearing your ideas!

  18. josh permalink
    March 8, 2011 4:07 am

    i think liam neeson would fit for any of the older male atreides roles, Leto, Thufir, Gurney… and the ony other thing i’d like to add, is that if robert pattinson is cast as paul muad’dib atreides… i cant even begin to think what ill do! i may take dune a little TOO seriously, my latest tattoo was actually inspired by dune… nerd much? michal sheen would be a decent fenring… natalie portman would be well suited for irulan

    • Steve permalink
      December 15, 2012 4:08 am

      Shia LeBouef should be Feyd…..not.
      I actually meant Bieber.

  19. Brian permalink
    March 22, 2011 5:44 pm

    Love Michael Sheen, but not for Fenring. He’d be perfect for Piter Devries.

  20. muad'dib permalink
    July 15, 2011 2:34 am

    Personally, I think that James Caviezel would be a great Leto, I mean look at this picture:
    http://content6.flixster.com/question/49/94/26/4994268_std.jpg

    And although it would be an odd choice, I think Orlando Bloom could play Duncan:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VhWL1k8k-JQ/Sw94QiZjrFI/AAAAAAAAAZ0/Q7y9WhKdrLE/s200/Orlando+Bloom

  21. September 23, 2011 4:31 am

    This is extremely intelligent casting! Bravo! I am a Dune expert, as well as a fan and am very impressed with your choices. My only contradiction is that Lady Jessica is historically a strikingly beautiful women, and while I adore Cate Blanchett, and she is very beautiful, I think Lady Jessica is a little softer and truthfully breathtaking, so I would like to use the exquisite Charlize Theron and for the Emperor, it just must be Ian Mckellan. Sorry if you find these too different from what you had in mind. What do you think?

    • September 23, 2011 6:32 pm

      I like your choices, as well. I can see your point-of-view regarding Jessica. I think she would be one of the most difficult characters to cast. It is tough to portray strength and softness/compassion in equal measure. I still stand by my choice for Emperor, although I re-watched Ian McKellan;s performance in Richard III recently, and he could actually tackle the role quite well, I think.

  22. Toby permalink
    January 5, 2012 4:17 am

    I really thought you did good. I completely think you did a much better job than I would have.

    With that being said, this is all in fun.

    First of all, the twilight dude is such a better choice. As much as I hate Twilight, I think he is a good fit and I believe Paramount was actually casting him, but it’s all up in the air anyway. Paul is fair skinned actually and “late getting his growth”, but he was sharper than Feyd and I mean in the muscles. Don’t ask me to reference it, but he was always kept in top physical condition. So under 5 1/2 and muscled. Feyd was a boaster. He killed a slave every day that was already defeated.

    You did a good job casting feyd.

    Chani, ehh, that girl alexa can’t act. She’s as dumb as a piece of steel. Chani was smart, Chani was actually the most desired girl in the tribe, she was very intellegent and outspoken. Chani and Princess Irulan did not get along. That was because Irulan wanted to Marry Paul as the Empress. Which was actually a main part of the story. It was missed the first time around and only did Scifi’s major catastrophe do Princess Irulan which is actually a major player in this story. Princess Irulan was not just cold and calculating, she was a spurned B@tch, she LOVED Muad’dib, was enfatuated with Paul.

    “Tell me about the waters of your homeworld Usil”

    So you have to pick those two togeather. Paul felt compassion toward Irulan. Which made Chani JEALOUS. I mean far be it to throw in a cat fight or something, but you have to match those two characters togeather.

    They did cut a lot out of the original, it was costing so much to produce out there in Mexico, I guess if I was the Director I would go nuts too… I mean it was almost as bad as Ben Hur and Sparticus… You got to know what you are doing before you go out into the desert. It just makes sense.

    The last 10 or so minutes were just crap. Like someone was telling them to wrap-it-up. The scene should have been much longer.

    All in all, the cheaper Sci-fi version did much more for Dune than the Original, the original had a dream cast, it had spectacular special effects, except for the space folding thing, that was pretty pathetic. That was awful. I want to make my own scene with colored paper and over dub it with a better music track just because it was so annoying anything is better than worm/pig things puking planets and flying through the air. At least add a kaliedoscope or two.

    The beast Raban has to be played by a wrestler, preferably on steroids; Mudir Nahya loved fighting killing and eating raw meat with his bare hands…. (actually he is just really disgusting) Perhaps “I am the Juggernaut B2tch!” Vinnie Jones. That guy you have he just doesn’t fit the build.

    You got it for Duncan Idaho and The Emperor. Hands down. Who can replace Patrick Stewart though? they could just cast him again, I bet he would want to do it again.

    About as much as I want a copy of the unedited reels. OH BOY!

    • Steve permalink
      December 15, 2012 3:59 am

      Tom Hardy as Rabban!
      Bulked up as Bain was, think how awesome he’d look in a stillsuit.
      Not tubby like the Paul Smith Rabban.

  23. Steve permalink
    December 14, 2012 4:46 am

    Just cast Sam Worthington in all these roles.
    As the sandworm too.
    Why not?
    He’s in everything else.
    Why are there no Aussies mentioned in this piece?
    It is ILLEGAL not to have at least one Aussie in any film.

    • December 14, 2012 1:46 pm

      Cate Blanchett IS an Aussie, so there you go. Wish granted.

      • Steve permalink
        December 15, 2012 3:57 am

        Of course! Quite right. Missed that. Thanks you for pointing it out.
        That’s one, at least.

  24. j6p6k6 permalink
    January 3, 2013 5:30 pm

    Hi, great post!

    Here are my contributions to your cast:

    Duke Leto: Christian Bale or Michael Fassbender
    Feyd Rautha: Tom Hardy
    Piter de Vries: Cillian Murphy

  25. taz permalink
    February 4, 2013 1:51 pm

    while i think ben wishaw could be a good choice the rest do not fit my picture of herberts characters, these actors while good in their own right seem mismatched. what is really needed for a good dune movie is a list of unknown but highly skilled classically trained actors who can deliver the lines and ambiguous meanings he portrayed, so cate blanchett, definitely not and ray winstone is too far out.

  26. Mahvros permalink
    February 24, 2013 4:59 am

    Steven Strait as Paul (Warren Peace in Sky High)
    Viggo Mortensen as Leto
    Uma Thurman as Jessica
    Ron Perlman as Gurney
    Lou Diamond Phillips as Duncan
    Michael Gambon as Thufir Hawat
    Brian Blessed as Vladimir Harkonnen
    Tom Hardy as Feyd- Rautha Harkonnen
    James Franco as Dr. Yueh
    Sam Rockwell as Piter de Vries
    Antonio Banderas as Shaddam Corrino
    Johnny Depp as Count Fenring
    John Noble as Liet-Kynes
    Mads Mikkelsen as Stilgar
    Meghan Mohry (Suits) as Chani
    Amanda Plummer as Shadout Mapes

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