Denis Villeneuve’s feature film remake of sci-fi fantasy Dune, based on the Frank Herbert novel is one of our most anticipated films coming out in 2020.
A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
One of the key cast members is Stellan Skarsgard, who’ll be playing the film’s main villain Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.
Stellan recently spoke with Collider during a chat about his HBO series Chernobyl. At the end of the interview, they pivoted to talking about his role of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Dune and gave some impression that they’ll be giving him some serious prosthetics for the character, who has been portrayed as a boiled-covered and violent power-hungry monster.
COLLIDER: You also signed on to play the villain in Dune. What made you want to be a part of that? Had you been a fan of the original film or the novel?
SKARSGARD: “No, I wasn’t. I actually just recently read the novel, which is a very good novel. But I’ve been a fan of Denis Villeneuve for quite awhile. It’s also a fun character to play. I don’t have to shoot that many days, but I have to spend six to eight hours a day in make-up. That makes it really hard, but interesting.”
COLLIDER: What’s it like to act through all of that?
SKARSGARD: “If you work with good prosthetics people, the main thing that’s important is that your eyes are free to express themselves, and also that the material you’re working with makes it possible for you to physically express yourself, with your body.”
COLLIDER: What kind of villain is Baron Harkonnen, in this version of Dune?
SKARSGARD: “He’s a pure villain. He doesn’t show any remorse or any good sides. I usually don’t like dividing the world into the good guys and bad guys because I think it’s an illusion since most of us have a little of both in us. But I would say that this is a bad, bad guy.”
COLLDIER: Is there a freedom in that, when you’re playing a character where there really is no doubt about who he is?
SKARSGARD: “It’s a cartoonish way to look at somebody, but at the same time, he’s very human, in some ways. His actions are just absolutely horrendous.”
COLLIDER: What do you think will most surprise fans about this particular take on the material?
SKARSGARD: “I don’t know. It’s a very long novel, and it’s really hard to compress into film because usually, it’s short stories that are better to make films out of. So, some might be disappointed that some of their favorite things are no longer in the story, but I also think they will be fascinated by Villeneuve’s way of visualizing that world that they have had in their mind for so long. And there are a lot of good actors that can be very pleasant to watch.”
The rest of Dune’s fantastic cast includes Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Zendaya as Chani, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam, David Dastmcalchian as Piter De Vries, Dave Bautista as the Baron’s nephew Rabban, Chang Chen as Dr. Yueh, and Stephen Henderson.
Last month, Legendary CEO Joshua Grode revealed to TheHollywoodReporter they are planning on making a second film.
THR: Will Dune be two movies?
GRODE: “That’s the plan. There’s a backstory that was hinted at in some of the books [that we expanded]. Also, when you read the book there’s a logical place to stop the movie before the book is over.”
Warner Bros. has set the release date of Dune for November 20th, 2020.