We’re going to see a lot more of Zendaya in Dune: Part Two

Deserved. (If it's made, of course).

by George Griffiths
15 August 2021, 10:47am

Image courtesy of Warner Bros/Legendary

 Dune is not even released yet, but director Denis Villeneuve is already talking about the planned sequel, stating that Zendaya will be a big part of Part Two.

Denis’ ambitious adaption of Frank Herbert’s landmark 1965 sci-fi novel has already been confirmed to just tackle the first half of the book’s narrative tracking Prince Paul Atredies’ (Timothee Chalamet) arrival on the planet Arrakis in search of the powerful ‘spice’ Melange, a mind-altering drug that has become the most sought-after substance in the galaxy.

Zendaya takes on the role of Chani, a native inhabitant of Arrakis who is drawn into Paul’s life after his family’s efforts to source the ‘spice’ draw them into a rivalry with another noble family.

Since the original novel is famously massive in scope, size and more than a little convoluted, it’s made sense from the start that Dune’s narrative would be split into two separate films (David Thee Lynch adapted the entire book for his Dune adaption and, well, it’s not exactly a classic), we now have confirmation that not only is Denis looking towards mounting filming up again, but that the focus and scope of the second film will expand.

“I can’t wait to shoot the second part of ‘Dune’ to get [Timmy and Zendaya] back together,” he told Italian magazine Il Venerdi, “knowing that in the next chapter, Zendaya will be a major presence [in] the story.”

Clarifying his comments to French-Canadian news outlet La Presse, Denis said: “I mumbled something about the character of Chani, suggesting the second film would be focused on her.

“She remains one of the main characters and the role is important, but Dune nevertheless remains the story of Paul Atreides first and foremost. Having said that, Zendaya is an incredible actress who inspires me deeply.”

And really a bigger part for Chani in the sequel does make sense, especially considering Zendaya’s sparse appearance in the film’s first official trailer, as well as comments she previously made to InStyle, where she admitted she wasn’t in the film “that much.”

Of course, this can all be tempered by the fact that Dune Part Two hasn’t been filmed yet, since the sequel hasn’t technically been greenlit.

Dune is scheduled to be released in the US on October 22, with a simultaneous drop on HBO Max - something which has rightfully been seen as more than a little controversial for the future of cinema itself. So if you want more Zendaya on your screen, you know what to do. See Dune in a cinema!

This article was updated to reflect clarification of Denis Villeneuve’s comments about Zendaya’s role.

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Timothée Chalamet