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Here's the star-studded cast of the new 'Dune' movie and who they're playing

Insider
Insider
 2021-10-22
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Zendaya will play Fremen tribe member Chani in the upcoming "Dune" remake.
  • The new "Dune" stars Timothée Chalamet as the lead character, Paul Atreides, among other A-listers.
  • Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgård, and Rebecca Ferguson also have major roles.
  • The film, based on a 1965 novel, premiered in theaters and on HBO Max Thursday.
Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, a young nobleman who eventually becomes a leader of the Fremen people.
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Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides in "Dune."

The son of Duke Leto, Paul accompanies his family as they depart from their home planet of Caladan to take control of Arrakis at the start of "Dune."

Once they arrive on Arrakis, the Atreides family is betrayed by rival family the Harkonnens in a Red Wedding-esque twist, but Jessica and Paul manage to escape to the desert and find refuge with the Fremen people.

Much of "Dune" focuses on Paul's transformation from a relatively inexperienced young nobleman to the Kwisatz Haderach — an all-seeing and nearly infallible messiah whose return was prophesied by the all-female Bene Gesserit sisterhood, which Jessica is a part of.

Oscar Isaac plays Duke Leto Atreides, Paul's father.
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Oscar Isaac recently appeared in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

The patriarch of House Atreides, Duke Leto is regarded by his people as a just and fair leader. Early in "Dune," he accepts an assignment by the Padishah Emperor to take control of spice production on Arrakis, although it's later revealed to be a trap.

Rebecca Ferguson plays Lady Jessica, Paul's mother and a member of the Bene Gesserit.
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Rebecca Ferguson recently appeared in "Doctor Sleep."

A Bene Gesserit priestess and Duke Leto's companion (often referred to as his "concubine"), Lady Jessica takes on new prominence in the upcoming "Dune" remake.

Director Denis Villeneuve told Vanity Fair that he's expanding the role of Lady Jessica, Paul's mother and a member of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood . While in Herbert's novel (and subsequent adaptations), Jessica was mainly responsible for producing an heir and savior — the Kwisatz Haderach — in the new film, she has much greater power, now helping to train and defend Paul.

"She's a mother, she's a concubine, she's a soldier," Ferguson, who plays Jessica, said . "Denis was very respectful of Frank's work in the book, [but] the quality of the arcs for much of the women have been brought up to a new level. There were some shifts he did, and they are beautifully portrayed now."

Josh Brolin stars as Gurney Halleck, an Atreides soldier and mentor to Paul.
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Josh Brolin played Thanos in "Avengers: Endgame."

A trusted warrior and friend to the Atreides family, Halleck is originally Paul's weapons teacher on Caladan. After the fall of House Atreides on Arrakis, Halleck escapes, later reuniting with Paul and Jessica after they've found refuge with the Fremen.

Jason Momoa is Duncan Idaho, another Atreides foot soldier.
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Jason Momoa played Khal Drogo on HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Like Halleck, Idaho is a trusted Atreides warrior who helps teach Paul how to fight.

Javier Bardem, pictured here with director Denis Villeneuve, plays Fremen leader Stilgar.
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Denis Villeneuve (left) directs Javier Bardem in "Dune."

Stilgar is the leader of the Fremen tribe, a group of people indigenous to Arrakis who live in the open desert. While initially suspicious of Paul and Jessica at first, he later grows to trust them, and even helps Paul plot his revenge against the Harkonnens.

Zendaya stars as Chani, a Fremen tribe member and eventual love interest of Paul Atreides.
Zendaya has previously starred on HBO's "Euphoria."

Before Paul even arrives on Arrakis or meets the Fremen, he's haunted by visions of a woman with striking blue eyes who asks him about his "home planet."

This woman eventually turns out to be Chani, a fearless Fremen tribe member who eventually strikes up a romance with Paul after he joins them in the desert.

Sharon Duncan-Brewster plays Liet Kynes, an ecologist on Arrakis.
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Sharon Duncan-Brewster is a British actress.

In addition to Lady Jessica, Villeneuve also gave a much-needed update to the character of Dr. Liet Kynes, an ecologist on Arrakis. Previously depicted as a white man, Kynes will be played by a woman of color, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, in the new film .

"What Denis had stated to me was there was a lack of female characters in his cast, and he had always been very feminist, pro-women, and wanted to write the role for a woman," Duncan-Brewster said .

"This human being manages to basically keep the peace amongst many people. Women are very good at that, so why can't Kynes be a woman? Why shouldn't Kynes be a woman?"

Stellan Skarsgård stars as Baron Vladimir, the ruthless leader of the Atreides' rival house, the Harkonnens.
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Stellan Skarsgård starred in HBO's critically-acclaimed "Chernobyl."

Originally described as a disfigured man who's so obese, he requires anti-gravity devices to support his weight, Villeneuve recently revealed that he's planning on taking a more understated approach to the baron in his new film — making him less cartoonish and more predatory.

"As much as I deeply love the book, I felt that the baron was flirting very often with caricature," Villeneuve said . "And I tried to bring him a bit more dimension. That's why I brought in Stellan."

"Stellan has something in the eyes," he continued. "You feel that there's someone thinking, thinking, thinking — that has tension and is calculating inside, deep in the eyes. I can testify, it can be quite frightening."

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