Austin Butler’s “Dune: Part II” Villain Is Apparently Like a “Psychotic Serial Killer”
“Dune” was one of the biggest films of 2021 and its upcoming sequel is expected to follow in its footsteps. Seven months ahead of its theatrical debut, we finally know a bit more about “Dune: Part II” thanks to new details teased at CinemaCon 2023. Original stars like Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet are, of course, expected to return but a familiar face also has a big part in the sequel: Austin Butler.
The Oscar-nominated “Elvis” star plays the role of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, now confirmed to be a villain in the film (as the character is in the source material). “It was a privilege for me to bring Austin on board to ask him to play some kind of Olympic sword master, mixed with a psychotic serial killer,” director Denis Villeneuve teased at the annual movie event, per Entertainment Weekly. “I’m very proud of what he brought to the movie.” The outlet also noted that Butler’s character could be expected to appear “hairless and pale.”
Other CinemaCon updates about “Dune: Part II” include teased footage that shows Chalamet’s Paul Atreides riding a sandworm for the first time (deemed a rite of passage) and a brief glimpse of Zendaya‘s Chani, though viewers will be pleased to hear she has much more screentime in this movie compared to the first installment.
“She’s not just in dreams this time,” Zendaya said onstage at CinemaCon, according to EW. “I only got a small time to learn who she was [in the first film], and now I feel like she’s a part of myself. Developing this love story where there’s so much pain and stress and turmoil, and trying to find the balance of these two young people trying to grow up while there’s so much pressure on top of that, being a warrior for your people… it was really, really special.”
In February 2022, Villeneuve’s adaptation of the 1965 “Dune” book soared past $400 million in global sales, according to Deadline. The critical acclaim and widespread popularity of the film allowed for a second “Dune” to be greenlit back in October 2021, just days after the first movie’s theatrical release. And now, we’re inching closer and closer to its November premiere.
Fans of the film are eager to see where the sequel continues the story from its predecessor (which ended on a cliffhanger). Villeneuve previously told ET Canada that it’s the “biggest challenge” of his career after he eagerly dove into preproduction for the film.
As previously announced, “Dune: Part II” will still make its return this fall with another star-studded cast led by “Dune” originals Zendaya and Chalamet. In addition to Butler, the film welcomes a host of more new faces and characters like Florence Pugh and Léa Seydoux, to name a few.
Ahead, read everything we know about the next “Dune” film so far, from the cast to the release date.