Dune 2 Finally Reveals First Look at Austin Butler Villain and Florence Pugh’s Irulan

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While many fans of Frank Herbert‘s Dune praised the 2021 movie from director Denis Villeneuve as an improvement over David Lynch‘s 1984 take, there was still one aspect that drew criticism: the omission of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. In Herbert’s 1965 novel, Feyd-Rautha serves as a more direct antagonist for hero Paul Atreides, matching his wit and fighting prowess. But while Villeneuve’s movie did feature Stellan Skarsgård‘s manipulative mastermind Baron Harkonnen and, briefly, Feyd’s dimwitted and brutal brother Beast Rabban, played by Dave Bautista, Feyd was a no-show.

But with Dune: Part Two deep in production, a first look feature at Vanity Fair finally gave us a glance at the highly-anticipated villain, played by Elvis star Austin Butler. Honestly, the picture doesn’t show much, as Villeneuve is holding a more detailed look at the character until later in the promotional cycle, according to the outlet. But we can see a few important details, namely the blades he holds in each hand. We see Feyd from behind, standing in almost silhouette with head bowed and arms and knees bent, ready to strike.

For Villeneuve, Feyd’s pose tells us much about this new threat to the young Paul Atriedes (Timothée Chalamet), who, along with his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Furgeson), barely escaped the assassination attempt that took the life of his father, Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac). “He’s someone Machiavellian, much more cruel, much more strategic, and is more narcissistic,” Villeneuve said of the character.

That sets him apart from his brother Rabban, who more directly pines for the Duke’s approval. “Rabban finds himself, at the end of part one, in the position where he doesn’t have the brain to be able to manage and control all these operations,” said Villeneuve. “Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen is a very clever, very charismatic figure, and much more brilliant.”

To describe Butler’s performance as Feyd, the Canadian director turns to a famous English rock star, one with deep ties to the character. No, not Sting, who memorably portrayed Feyd in Lynch’s Dune, but rather the person Alejandro Jodorowsky had in mind for his famously doomed take on Dune, Mick Jagger. “Austin Butler brought to the screen something that would be a cross between a psychotic, sociopath serial killer and Mick Jagger,” Villeneuve revealed.

In addition to Feyd, Vanity Fair also gave us our first glimpse at other important characters missing from Dune, namely Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan and Léa Seydoux as Bene Gesserit Lady Margot.

The daughter of Emperor Shadda IV (who will be played by Christopher Walken in Dune: Part Two), Irulan becomes a central figure in not just the life of Paul Atreides but also in his legacy as mythological savior Kwisatz Haderach. That brings her sometimes in line with and sometimes against Lady Margot, a Bene Gesserit who does not “think about what’s good or what is evil,” according to Villeneuve. For the Bene Gesserit, “What is important is to bring humanity to its full potential and to try to create a being that will bring humanity to enlightenment.”

But while the Bene Gesserit can stretch their plans out over centuries, we humans are more impatient. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait too much longer before Dune: Part Two comes to theaters on Nov. 3.

The post Dune 2 Finally Reveals First Look at Austin Butler Villain and Florence Pugh’s Irulan appeared first on Den of Geek.

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