The trailer for Dune: Part Two brings the first look at Christopher Walken playing Emperor Shaddam IV.
The official Warner Bros. YouTube released the much-anticipated Dune: Part Two trailer, featuring much of the film's returning cast from the first Dune. Timothée Chalamet reprises his role as Paul Atreides, Duke of Arrakis, while Zendaya, Javier Bardem, and Rebecca Ferguson also return as their characters for the sequel, but some major additions to the cast have got fans abuzz. Most notably, Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Walken appears in the trailer's second half as the nefarious Emperor Shaddam IV.
Before becoming a box office success, Dune was a series of books by Frank Herbert. In the novels, Emperor Shaddam IV is the ruthless and conniving Emperor of the Known Universe and is known for his relentless and Machiavellian attempts to gain control of House Atreides. Although the first film largely focused on the blood feud between Stellan Skarskgård’s Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and Duke Leto Atreides, played by Oscar Isaac, Shaddam is the overarching antagonist of the Dune universe. Hailing from House Corrino, one of the noblest houses in Dune’s history, the Padishah Emperor is the latest in a long line of supreme rulers. However, he also allowed his power to dwindle, and when House Atreides, led by Duke Leto Atreides, began to gain popularity amongst the other noble houses, he began to pull the necessary strings to ensure their downfall.
Christopher Walken Takes on Dune's Greatest Villain
Emperor Shaddam IV was played by José Ferrer in David Lynch’s 1984 Dune. Walken will be stepping into the iconic role with a Hollywood pedigree that even House Corrino could envy, as he has been playing leads in great films since 1970. The trailer hints at how Walken will portray Emperor Shaddam IV, particularly in the scene in which he finds out Paul is still alive, with the Emperor’s countenance indicating that he will stop at nothing to squash the threat to his reign.
Other significant additions to the cast include Austin Butler as Feyd Rautha Harkonnen, Skarsgård’s character’s son. Léa Seydoux and Florence Pugh round out the star-studded cast, portraying Lady Fenring and Princess Irulan respectively.
Dune: Part Two is set to release on November 3, 2023. The first film is available for streaming on Disney+.