With the final draft presumedly in hand, and Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) on board, Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) is slowly beginning to piece together the remainder of his cast for Dune.
According to Deadline, Mission: Impossible – Fallout star Rebecca Ferguson has entered negotiations to join the French-Canadian filmmaker’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel of the same name and will portray Lady Jessica, mother to Chalamet’s Paul Atreides.
Ferguson – who’s stratospherically risen since The Greatest Showman – recently landed a role in the presently untitled Men in Black spinoff, directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), and will portray Rose the Hat in the long-gestating sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, directed by Mike Flanagan (Gerald’s Game).
As for Dune, it’s been relatively quiet on the desert planet of Arrakis for over a month now. In the midst of summer, though – as mentioned above – the project took a giant leap forward when Legendary Entertainment announced Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet was being targeted for the lead role.
Unfortunately, confirmation of Chalamet’s casting has remained elusive. That said, at the beginning of last month, Brian Herbert, son of the aforementioned Frank and New York Times bestselling author in his own right, revealed he’d just received the fourth draft of the Dune screenplay from the studio.
Additionally, B. Herbert also announced that the script “is for the first movie” – confirming it’ll be split in two – and “cover approximately half of the novel.” Granted, it wasn’t the first time we heard Legendary was planning a two-parter. Half a year ago, Villeneuve corroborated as much at the Rendez-Vous du Cinema Quebecois movie festival.
As for this latest casting coup, it seems to signal that things on Dune are heating up now and as soon as we hear more, we’ll be sure to let you know.