Dune Part 2 Adds Florence Pugh As Princess Irulan, Somehow Making That Ensemble Better

Just when you thought the "Dune" franchise couldn't possibly get any more star-studded than it already is. After years of either failed attempts to get adaptations off the ground or middling movies that went on to become cult classics, last year's Denis Villeneuve-directed film broke out in a big way. Led by Timothée Chalamet and starring a cast of big names such as Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, and so many more, the in-development sequel "Dune Part 2" just became even more highly anticipated than it already was.

Excitingly, THR is reporting that none other than arguably the most in-demand young actor around, Florence Pugh, has entered talks to join the sequel — and this won't just be some throwaway role, either. The actor is apparently being courted to portray Princess Irulan, a character who has an enormous influence in author Frank Herbert's original "Dune" novels and who stands to play an integral role in the film(s) to come. Should this casting pan out (and fans of both Pugh herself and the actual IP should certainly be hoping that it does), it would represent the first major casting addition to the sequel, with Pugh joining the A-list ranks of all those who'll be reprising their roles for another go-around in the battle for control over the desert world of Arrakis and, well, the empire at large.

In the novels, Princess Irulan is the daughter of the immensely powerful Emperor (who goes by the full, proper title of "Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV," naturally!) and may or may not be set up as a potential love interest for young Peter Atreides himself ... although, for those who are wary of spoilers, trust me when I say it's not quite as simple as that may sound. 

In any case, THR reports that "several obstacles remain" before any of this becomes official. A script is still in the process of being written and, as we previously reported, Pugh is also seeing her schedule fill up rapidly as she's in contention to star as Madonna in an upcoming biopic. Furthermore, the deteriorating situation in Ukraine may pose a filming problem, as the original shot some scenes in Hungary, and expectations were that the same would apply to the sequel.

Read on for all the details!

There's much afoot for Dune

According to THR, "Dune Part 2" is currently casting three major roles for the upcoming sequel: Princess Irulan, the thus-far unseen Emperor, and Feyd-Rautha, the nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Skarsgård) who poses a direct challenge to Paul Atreides. Pugh has always cropped up as a favorite fan-cast for the role of Irulan (we had our own ideas for these roles here and are sorely disappointed to see cooler heads prevailing and completely avoiding our suggestions), especially in the wake of Warner Bros. and Legendary officially giving the green light to plans for the sequel. Director Denis Villeneuve, of course, is on board to return for the highly anticipated production and has even expressed his interest in continuing the story beyond "Part 2" to a potential film based on "Dune: Messiah," another Frank Herbert novel in the series. Pugh's potential casting would undoubtedly play into that, as such a major role would be cast with an eye on future considerations down the line.

Pugh is coming off an incredibly successful run of high-profile projects, beginning back in 2016 with "Lady Macbeth" and quickly leading to roles in "Outlaw King," "Fighting with My Family," the A24 horror film "Midsommar," Greta Gerwig's "Little Women" remake, and culminating with Marvel's "Black Widow" and "Hawkeye" Disney+ series. Should this pan out, "Dune" would become her latest massive franchise addition and further establish her as one of the most highly sought-after stars in the industry. Pugh also has Olivia Wilde's "Don't Worry Darling" and Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer" in the wings. 

More details to come!