Los Angeles: Hollywood veteran Christopher Walken has been cast as Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV in the second part of filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic ”Dune”.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Walken joins fellow newcomers Florence Pugh and Austin Butler in the much-awaited sequel to the Oscar-winning movie.
”Dune”, which was released in October 2021 to universal praise, was based on author Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 novel. It followed the story of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to Arrakis, the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.
”Dune: Part Two” will resume where Part One left off, with Atreides fighting alongside the Fremen to free the desert planet of Arrakis from the grips of House Harkonnen.
Though the character didn’t appear in the first film, Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV is a pivotal figure in Herbert’s novel as he is initially responsible for sending Paul Atreides’ father Leto, played by Oscar Isaac in the movie, to Arrakis. Chalamet as well as his co-stars Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson and Javier Bardem are returning for the sequel.
Pugh and Butler recently joined the cast as Princess Irulan, the Emperor’s daughter, and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, the presumptive heir to the Harkonnen dynasty, respectively.
Part two of Dune is expected to start production later this year and has a release date of October 20, 2023.
Jon Spaihts is returning to co-write the script with Villeneuve, who will direct and produce the sequel.
Walken is best known for starring in hits like ”Annie Hall”, ”The Deer Hunter”, ”A View to a Kill”, ”Batman Returns”, ”True Romance”, ”Pulp Fiction” and ”Catch Me If You Can”.
He most recently starred in two critically-acclaimed shows — Amazon’s ”The Outlaws” and Apple TV+ series ”Severance”.