Christopher Walken To Play The Emperor In Dune 2

We still have a while to go before Denis Villeneuve graces our movie screens with "Dune: Part Two" the epic continuation of his adaptation of Frank Herbert's beloved sci-fi novel "Dune," yet that doesn't mean the casting news can't start now. 

Earlier this year, Florence Pugh was cast as Princess Irulan, the woman who narrates the start of every chapter in Herbert's novel, and the daughter of the Emperor of the known universe. Well, get ready to meet her daddy, because according to The Hollywood Reporter, Christopher Walken has been crowned Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV. The character was previously played by Jose Ferrer in David Lynch's 1984 adaptation. Though technically not confirmed just yet, "Elvis" star Austin Butler will serve the Emperor as the sexy villain Feyd-Rautha.

The most powerful man in the known universe

Someone needs to tell Denis Villeneuve his version of "Dune" was supposed to be less campy than Lynch's, because there is no way they are going for absolute seriousness and stoicism with Walken playing the big villain. Whether it's a larger than life headless Hassian, or an archangel on a mission to kill the second coming of Christ, Christopher Walken is the man you want to give your villain an over-the-top flair. 

And to be fair, it's hard not to go over-the-top while playing Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, especially since the man's power is relatively subtle. YouTuber and author Matt Colville does an excellent job explaining the things neither the movie nor even the book explain clearly that clearly about the world of "Dune," including why exactly the Emperor sends Duke Leto Atreides to Arrakis to lay a trap for him. 

In essence, the Emperor is not really the richest house in the universe, nor does he lead the most popular house in the universe, as he doesn't own or control the universe's parliament. Instead, he rules because he owns the Sardaukar, the most elite, brutal, and fearsome army in the universe. The reason he fears House Atreides is not just because Oscar Isaac's bearded Duke Leto is charismatic as hell, but specifically because he inspires as much loyalty as the Emperor, and because his army is as good if not better than the Emperor's, and they are growing.

All this is to say, the Emperor in "Dune" is not a stereotypical stoic commander like Tywin Lannister in "Game of Thrones," he is a scary dude crazy enough that his real power comes from an army that are baptized in blood on a planet full of awesome throat-singers. Christopher Walken staring down at scrawny Timothée Chalamet in some hilariously over-the-top royal paraphernalia is enough to make the wait for "Dune: Part Two" even more agonizing.

"Dune: Part Two" is scheduled to hit theaters on October 20, 2023.