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The 53-year-old director’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic sees the 25-year-old actor portray the leading role, and the filmmaker has admitted they had no “Plan B” when it came to casting another actor as the character.
Speaking to Total Film magazine, Denis spilled: “We said, ‘It’s Timothee [Chalamet].’ We didn’t have a Plan B. Honestly, if he had said no, I don’t know what I would have done. There would be no ‘Dune’, maybe.”
Meanwhile, co-writer Eric Roth recently teased that the upcoming movie will be “spectacular”.
The 76-year-old screenwriter contributed to the script and found his experience on the project, which features an ensemble cast, also including Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, and Dave Bautista, to be “wonderful”.
Eric said: “(Working on ‘Dune’) was wonderful. I’d done some work for Denis on ‘Arrival’ and we became kind of soulmates. And so when ‘Dune’ came along, he asked me if I would approach it.
“And I did, and I wrote a big, full, overwritten Eric Roth draft that had certain things special to me. It needed to be, honestly, cut down and sort of harnessed, and Denis did some of that, and they eventually brought in a writer named Jon Spaiths, who is a wonderful writer, who I think kept it grounded.
“But I think it’s really pretty spectacular. He’s a visionary of his own kind, Denis.”
Eric also confirmed that ‘Dune’ – which was adapted for the big screen by David Lynch in 1984 – only takes inspiration from the first half of Herbert’s book.
He said: “It’s completely the first half. Yeah. I didn’t know when we started, so I think I adapted a little more than the first half and started going into the second half of the book. But I’ve seen the film, it’s pretty much the first half.”
Roth has written a “treatment” based on the second half of the novel, but he’s keen to move on to other projects in the future.