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Cast This: Paul Atreides (Dune)

04.18.2018

Over the years, Frank Herbert's "Dune" has proven to be a notoriously difficult project to adapt, but with Denis Villeneuve (BLADE RUNNER 2049) set to make his mark on the franchise with the upcoming remake, Paul Atreides may soon be making a triumphant return to the big-screen. Throughout countless generations, the Bene Gesserit, a powerful and ancient order of women, carefully controlled bloodlines through a breeding program with the aim of producing the Kwisatz Haderach, who would be, essentially, a super-powered messiah. That day was nearly upon them when Lady Jessica was instructed to produce a daughter with Duke Leto Atreides who would then be bred with Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen to create the Kwisatz Haderach, but instead, Jessica fell in love with Leto and intentionally conceived a son, Paul Atreides. Everyone get that?

The mythology and politics behind Frank Herbert's "Dune" series is quite complex, which is part of why it's been so difficult to adapt, so I'll do my best to keep Paul's history simple. After being tutored by many teachers in just about every field imaginable, as well as learning the methods and techniques of the Bene Gesserit from his mother, Paul seemed destined for greatness, but after arriving on the planet of Arrakis with his family, a betrayal forced him to escape into the desert. It was there that Paul meet up with the Freman, a group of desert dwellers who later accepted Paul as one of their own when it became clear that he was their savior. Throw in some Spice, Water of Life, Sandworms, and a battle to overthrow the Emperor, and you've got the first book in the "Dune" franchise.

Paul's further adventures would find him becoming the central figure in a new religion and reluctantly unleashing a jihad which would kill sixty billion people across the known universe. Yikes. Frank Herbert once summed up his "Dune" trilogy by saying that it was "aimed at this whole idea of the infallible leader, because my view of history says that mistakes made by a leader (or made in a leader's name) are amplified by the numbers who follow without question... The bottom line of the Dune trilogy is: beware of heroes. Much better to rely on your own judgment, and your own mistakes."

Before the 1984 David Lynch film, there had been several attempts to bring "Dune" to the big-screen, most notably by Alejandro Jodorowsky, but Denis Villeneuve has said that he won't be looking at previous incarnations for inspiration. "No," Villeneuve said. "Because Jodorowsky is a very unique visionary. He has a very strong, unique vision. I am a total different human being. It would be very presumptuous and arrogant for me to try. I would love to talk to him. I’ve wanted to meet him for a long time. I think he’s a fantastic filmmaker and I would have loved to see his Dune. I think it would be a very singular Jodorowsky movie. Will it have been the vision I have for Dune? Very far away. I mean, I am sure because he is so unique." As for where Villeneuve will start with his DUNE remake, the director plans to begin with the very first book, adding that he will be "going back to the images that came out when I read it."

It's still uncertain whether Villeneuve's DUNE will even come together at this point, but the director has said that he's hoping to make at least two films. Here's hoping that the first film will prove successful enough to warrant a sequel as Villeneuve's plans for DUNE seem quite ambitious. The director has 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."

Kyle MacLachlan played Paul Atreides in David Lynch's DUNE in 1984, with Alec Newman stepping into the role for the 2000 mini-series and its 2003 sequel, Children of Dune, but in the novels, the character is fifteen years old. It remains to be seen whether Denis Villeneuve will cast an age-appropriate character in the role, but I'm not about to hold my breath. However, I'll leave it up to you as to which direction you'd like to go, but I'll toss out a few suggestions which could go either way. After BLADE RUNNER 2049, I could certainly see Villeneuve teaming up with Ryan Gosling once again for DUNE. Turning to someone a little younger, Tye Sheridan (READY PLAYER ONE) is already used to blockbuster franchises and would likely jump at the chance to work with Denis Villeneuve, as would Taron Egerton (KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE).

Remember, you're free to suggest anyone in the comments, so let your inner casting director run wild!

Previously on Cast This, you were asked to fill the role of Namor the Sub-Mariner, the hot-headed Atlantean who is one of Marvel's oldest characters and frequently toes the line between hero and villain. As usual, you came through with a lot of great suggestions for the role, including Luke Evans (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), Ranveer Singh (PADMAAVAT), and Will Yun Lee (Altered Carbon).

Source: JoBlo.com

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