Christopher Walken to star as Emperor Shaddam in Dune: Part 2

The Emperor has spoken. Christopher Walken has joined the cast of Dune: Part Two.

According to Deadline (opens in new tab), Walken will play Shaddam Corrino IV, the last Padishah Emperor of the Corrino Empire and ruler of the Known Universe.

Previous casting announcements for the sequel include Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corrino, eldest daughter to Shaddam IV, and Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha, the younger nephew and heir of the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Chralotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem are expected to return.

The second installment is being helmed by Denis Villeneuve, who directed, co-wrote, and produced Dune: Part One. Jon Spaihts will return as co-writer. The film marks the fourth adaptation of author Frank Herbert’s sci-fi fantasy series, and will focus on the second half of the first novel.

Dune: Part One managed to earn over $400 million worldwide in box-office sales despite being released simultaneously on HBO Max. Along with positive reception from critics, the film earned ten Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and took home the gold for Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects.

The role of Emperor Shaddam IV was originated by Jose Ferrer in David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation, and by Giancarlo Giannini in the 2000 TV miniseries. 

Walken currently stars in Amazon Prime Video’s The Outlaws, and previously appeared in Ben Stiller’s Apple TV Plus series Severance.

Dune: Part Two is set to hit theaters October 20, 2023. For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming films in 2022 and beyond.

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