The Dune remake has found yet another key cast member. Denis Villeneuve, who has asserted himself as one of the most promising filmmakers working in the business today following a run that includes Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, has been putting together a new adaptation of author Frank Herbert's legendary sci-fi novel behind the scenes for more than two years now. The pieces are finally falling into place and one very key element has just been locked in, as the movie has found its villain.

According to a new report, Stellan Skarsgård has been tapped to portray the villainous Baron Harkonnen in the Dune remake. The Part was previously played by Kenneth McMillan in David Lynch's previous big screen adaptation, which was released back in 1984. Skarsgard is no stranger to big-budget blockbusters, as he's starred in the Thor movies, as well as a couple of the Avengers movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Skarsgard also starred in several of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Beyond that, some of his notable credits include Good Will Hunting, Mama Mia! and Deep Blue Sea.

There have been several attempts to turn Frank Herbert's 1965 Hugo Award-winning novel Dune into a franchise in the past. The story is set in the distant future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino. We mostly follow the young Paul Atreides as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, where much of the story takes place. The planet is notable as it is the only source of a rare and valuable spice drug that is highly valued throughout the cosmos. Also, there are giant sandworms, for those who need something to really hook them in.

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Oscar-nominee Timothee Chalamet has already been cast in the lead role, with Rebecca Ferguson also on board. Dave Bautista was recently brought on to play a significant role as well. This marks a reunion between Denis Villeneuve and Bautista, who previously worked with one another on Blade Runner 2049. Bautista became available since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been delayed. Odds are, we'll be hearing more casting news in the near future, as production is rapidly approaching.

It's expected that production on Dune will begin in the spring, meaning we could be just a few months away from cameras rolling. Filming will reportedly take place in Budapest and Jordan on what is expected to be a very large production, as the studio hopes that this could be a potentially huge franchise. Legendary Pictures, who secured the rights to the property back in November 2016, has not yet locked down a release date, but late 2020 is starting to seem highly likely. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any additional details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott