Denis Villeneuve is poised to take over the box office again with his highly anticipated sequel Dune: Part Two.
The French Canadian director creates an engrossing, believable world, smartly dividing Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel into two parts. We spoke to him about making the second installment bigger and better than the first — adding new faces to the cast, amazing costumes and killer stunts.
In the film Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) unites with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen while seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the universe, he must prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.
Villeneuve enlisted new faces — Florence Pugh and Austin Butler — for the sequel with both revealing they had coffee dates with the director before getting the call to join the cast.
“We were in L.A. at the same time, and we ended up having a coffee, and he just kept on looking at me,” laughed Pugh who plays Princess Irulan. “And then I got a call from him late. I was back in London, and he offered me the role. And I was so delirious in my sleep, I think I was sleeping, that I’d actually kind of forgotten that it happened. And then the following day, my agent was like, congratulations.”
Butler revealed immediately upon getting the call he got the part he began intense stunt training.
“They connected me with Duffy, who is one of my good friends, who is a Navy Seal, and he kicked my ass every day. That got me physically kind of ready. And then Timothy and I both did knife training with a great instructor in L.A. and with Roger Ewan as well. So got we physicality that way.”
“We do have an incredible stunt team that I think built beautiful fight scenes that we all got to participate in,” revealed Zendaya who reprises her role as Chani. “I was lucky enough to do some of my fight scenes on a mocap stage. So it was in a place where I could do it, where there was no elements. I didn’t have to worry about my costume or anything, and I could do it, and I could step back and watch it back and go, okay, I can do that better.”
Timothée Chalamet, who returns as warrior Paul Atreides, revealed what it was like suiting back up for the action adventure and doing his his own stunts.
“When I put [the suit] back on, I just felt, okay, now we’re back and, yeah, something about how that suit feels really puts you in the moment,” Chalamet said.
“You see when people run with weights on their calves, it was that kind of thrill. You feel like something is weighing on you, and by the end of the day, you peel it off and you feel like at the end of the day, you’re having a lot of fun on this amazing, epic adventure.”
“When you put on the clothing, it changes the way you walk, it changes the way you feel, added Butler. “And so much thought was put into every garment that everybody wore. So, yeah, that helped definitely make it feel real.”
Dune: Part Two is in theaters March 1.
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