Dune: Part Two writer explains why they changed Anya Taylor-Joy’s character

Dune: Part Two co-writer Jon Spaihts explains why they changed the character played by Anya Taylor-Joy in the movie.

Anya Taylor-Joy, Dune: Part Two

Here be SPOILERS. Dune: Part Two is now playing in theaters, and while the sequel is being celebrated as a fantastic adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel, director Denis Villeneuve and co-writer Jon Spaihts did make a few changes, most notably with the character played by Anya Taylor-Joy.

Anya Taylor-Joy plays Alia, the younger sister of Paul Atreides. While the character spends much of the movie as an unborn fetus, she is seen as an adult in Paul’s visions. In Frank Herbert’s novel, Alia is a young toddler during the events covered in the sequel, as there’s a two-year time jump in the middle of the story. Jon Spaihts explained to Inverse why they didn’t go this route. “We were a little leery of that talking toddler, as a distraction in the middle of the film,” Spaihts said. “That’s a difficult thing to execute on film.

Spaihts added that they had another reason for skipping the time jump in the novel. “To allow such a long time lapse inevitably would sort of cool the passions of Part One,” Spaihts said. “If Duke Leto’s death were years and years ago, then it would lessen the lingering trauma that all the characters were feeling. We wanted the heat of their passion to be fresh and their wounds to be fresh.

If Denis Villeneuve returns to make Dune: Messiah, we will likely see much more of Anya Taylor-Joy as Alia.

Our own Chris Bumbray gave the Dune sequel a rave review. “In this day of assembly line blockbusters, it’s a miracle that director Denis Villeneuve has managed to get not one but two incredible, uncompromised epics like this through the studio system,” he wrote. “It works as a tentpole blockbuster, but Dune Part Two is also filmmaking at the highest level. It’s a real cinematic event everyone owes it to themselves to take in and hopefully won’t be forgotten come Oscar time. It’s a masterpiece.” You can check out the rest of Bumbray’s review right here.

Dune: Part Two will “explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.” The film is now playing in theaters, so be sure to let us know what you thought of it!

Source: Inverse

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.