Aquaman is going back to the desert in Dune’s latest casting news. According to THR, Jason Momoa enters the Dune-verse as the character of Duncan Idaho, which I think is the first casting for this movie that excites me.
For simplicity’s sake, the character of Duncan Idaho is a handsome ladies man, weapon’s expert, and fighter who is loyal to House Atreides and Paul in the book Dune. Casting Momoa as a handsome fighter ladies man is pretty much as on point as you can get, but what has me really excited about this casting is what it means for (if we get them) future Dune movies.
***Spoilers for Dune books***
In the first book, Duncan dies but is reborn as a ghola; he keeps getting reborn again and again in each of the books, becoming one of the most important characters across the Dune series. Gholas are artificially created human, who are replicated from a dead individual as part of the mourning process for people. However, usually, gholas didn’t remember their past lives, and Duncan calls himself Hayt. He is programmed to kill Paul against his will, which creates this huge conflict within himself about trying to reconcile his programming and his innate love for the Atreides family.
Duncan is one of the few characters to appear in all six Dune novels, and while I don’t think we are ever going to get that much out of the Dune series, I am glad that Momoa’s role is one that has a lot of meat to it if we go beyond this initial movie. If we don’t go beyond the first that will be disappointing, because we will only get him in the first part of the book.
Either way, Momoa rounds out a cast that is currently made of by Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin. I think more people might just show up for the cross-over element of the casting more than anything else.
As more star power is collected, I’m just thinking about the cost of this movie going up by many millions. Star power isn’t something I think is super important to sell Dune to the fans of the books; the things that are going to matter most of all is the script and the special effects. The film’s script was written by Villeneuve, Eric Roth, and Jon Spaihts. While Momoa is a great get for the film, if the story can’t sustain itself then it’ll just be another really well made Hotel Artemis. Beautiful, but boring.
Dune is eyeing shoots in Budapest and Jordan beginning in the spring, so hopefully, we will get some images to really show us what’s in store.