Denis Villeneuve has revealed why Timothee Chalamet was his only choice to play Paul Atreides in his upcoming Dune remake. For some projects, picking the lead actor can prove to be a daunting task that takes months, or even longer. Tackling Frank Herbert’s epic source material is no easy task either, but Villeneuve lucked out when Chalamet agreed to take on the lead role in the movie. Villeneuve had this to say about why he chose the young actor.
“Timoth&ée Chalamet was my first choice at the beginning. There was just one Paul Atreides on Earth right now for me, and there was one name on the list. And I met Timothee and we both agreed spontaneously that we would work together. It was not difficult to convince Timothee. I chose Timothee for several reasons. First of all, he’s a phenomenal actor. He is someone that has a lot of depth, someone that is very mature for his age. Because Paul Atreides is an old soul in a young body. And Timothee has that.”
Denis Villeneuve went on to state that Timothee Chalamet has a lot of charisma. He says, “Also, he has features that remind me of old school Hollywood stars. He’s a real movie star. He has that insane charisma. Insane charisma. You put Timothee in front of a camera and it’s an explosion.” It sounds like Chalamet knocked his performance out of the park for the director, which bodes well for when Dune is released in theaters, which is still on track for later this year.
Denis Villeneuve is currently sprinting to get Dune finished. It seems that the movie will be made on time, but the public health crisis crushed the director’s schedule, especially after they were able to shoot some additional scenes. Now, he has to get all of the visual effects finished while working remotely in Montreal while the rest of his crew is in Los Angeles. Sadly, Villeneuve’s story is not uncommon as nearly all major Hollywood productions had to shut down earlier this year.
Alejandro Jodorowsky recently commented on Denis Villeneuve attempting to remake Dune. Jodorowsky famously attempted to adapt Frank Herbert’s source material for the big screen in the 1970s and it did not pan out. The director now believes it’s impossible to do so, though he is looking forward to seeing what Villeneuve was able to pull off. Jodorowsky was very happy to see David Lynch’s 1984 attempt go down in flames and he might have similar feelings if the new adaptation tanks too.
Dune is expected to open in theaters this December. A lot could change between now and then, but it is still on schedule. As for the first footage, we should have the first trailer in a few weeks with the re-release of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. If the buzz on the street is to be believed, Villeneuve may have broken the big screen Dune curse. You can check out the interview with Denis Villeneuve above, thanks to the Secrets of Dune YouTube channel. His comments on Timothee Chalamet begin at the 17-minute mark.