Stellan Skarsgård's villain role as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in last year's Dune is a physically odd character to be sure. So, it makes sense that the Baron's boss, Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, would be stranger in his own way and for that they have cast the perfect choice. It's been confirmed today that Christopher Walken will play the big bad in next year's Dune: Part Two which will adapt the second half of Frank Herbert's masterful sci-fi novel.
The Emperor controls the Sardaukar, the most elite, brutal, and fearsome army in the universe which is primarily how he maintains his power. His character is the one responsible for sending Duke Leto Atreides and his son Paul to Arrakis in the first half of the book as part of an assassination attempt because he sees Leto, his equally powerful army, and House Atreides as a threat to his power. Walken will join newcomers Florence Pugh (cast as the Emperor's daughter, Princess Irulan) and Elvis star Austin Butler (cast as the Emperor's loyal servant and heir, Feyd-Rautha). The Emperor was previously played by Jose Ferrer in David Lynch's 1984 adaptation. Without a doubt though, while known for comedic roles in recent years, Walken has shown his ability to project flair and command in his films.
Producer Mary Parent previously stated that filming for Part Two is scheduled to start on July 18th of this year with a theatrical release set for October 20th, 2023. It's also been reported that Hans Zimmer will return to compose the score for the film and had, prior to the second part being greenlit, already completed an hour and a half of new music to help inspire Villeneuve in preparing the film. Hopefully, all this will lead to a strong second film. Stay tuned!