Dune cast Zendaya

Denis Villeneuve is hell-bent on assembling the most attractive cast in movie history with his big-budget Dune adaptation. The latest: Meechee herself, Zendaya, is in talks to play Chani, love-interest to Timothée Chalamet‘s Paul Atreides. Zendaya joins a cast that already includes Oscar IsaacRebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Rampling and more. Get the full Dune cast details below.

Collider broke the news that Zendaya is in talks to join the Dune cast as Chani. In the Dune novel, lead character Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet in the new movie) has visions of Chani before he even meets her. During the course of the story, Paul encounters the real Chani, a deadly warrior who is put in charge of protecting and guiding Paul. The two eventually become lovers. The character was played by Sean Young in David Lynch’s much-maligned 1984 adaptation.

Zendaya is just the latest very good-looking person to climb aboard Villeneuve’s cast. Here’s the full breakdown: Timothee Chalamet is playing protagonist Paul Atreides; Stellan Skarsgard will portray villain Baron Vladimir Harkonnen; Rebecca Ferguson is Lady Jessica, Paul Atreides’ mother; Oscar Isaac is Duke Leto, Paul’s father; Charlotte Rampling is Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam; and Dave Bautista takes on the role of Beast Rabban, Baron Harkonnen’s nephew.

Based on the novel by Frank Herbert, Dune is “set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets,” and “tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. As this planet is the only source of the oracular spice melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe, control of Arrakis is a coveted—and dangerous—undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.”

I’ll confess I have yet to read Dune, but I’m a big fan of Villeneuve. With Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, the director proved he has a gift for helming complex, sprawling sci-fi stories, and I’m very excited to see what he does here. The fact that he’s compiling an incredible cast certainly doesn’t hurt, either. No release date for Dune has been set yet, but filming is set to begin in the second half of this year. According to Villeneuve himself, the epic story is likely to be split up into two films, although there’s been nothing set in stone yet.

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