While Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides is front and center in the upcoming “Dune” film adaptation, it’s Zendaya’s Chani who will serve as the protagonist of the second film which plans to adapt the back half of Frank Herbert’s novel.
Speaking with Italian magazine Il Venerdi (via Secrets of Dune), filmmaker Denis Villeneuve mentioned plans for “Dune: Part Two” and said in a translated quote: “I can’t wait to shoot the second part of Dune to get [Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya] back together. Knowing that in the next chapter, Zendaya will be the protagonist of the story.”
While the first half of the book deals with the large political in-fighting of the houses, the second tackles Paul and Jessica training and helping the Fremen rise up and take control of their planet as Paul achieves his destiny. Chani’s role mostly unfolds in that back half which explains why Zendaya says her role in this year’s film is relatively small.
The shift would also change the perspective from the nobility of the Atreides in the first half to the perspective of the oppressed Fremen in the second. Villeneuve is also likely saving the reveal of certain characters like Feyd and Emperor Shaddam IV for the second half.
“Dune” will officially be released in cinemas and HBO Max on October 22nd.