Timothée Chalamet Circles Denis Villeneuve's Dune

Director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the 1965 best-selling sci-fi novel Dune has reportedly found its lead actor in Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet.

According to Deadline, Chalamet is in final negotiations to take on the lead role in Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, which is expected to span at least two films. Chalamet will portray Paul Atreides, a prominent figure in the first two novels of the Dune series, who had previously been portrayed by Kyle MacLachlen in director David Lynch's 1984 adaptation.

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Chalamet is coming off a breakout year in 2017 where he earned an Oscar nomination for his starring role in Luca Guadagnino's film Call Me By Your Name, while also appearing in supporting roles in Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird and the Christian Bale-led western Hostiles. Villeneuve has helmed multiple critically acclaimed and award-winning films over the last few years, including 2013’s Prisoners, 2015’s Sicario, 2016’s science-fiction film Arrival and last year’s Blade Runner sequel, Blade Runner 2049.

Dune has previously been adapted for the big screen in 1984 by director David Lynch (Twin Peaks), though his adaptation was critically panned and was a box office flop, failing to recoup its budget of $40 million. A miniseries adaptation, titled Frank Herbert’s Dune, appeared on the Sci-Fi Channel in the year 2000 from director John Harrison, winning two Emmy Awards for cinematography and visual effects. Harrison followed it up with the 2003 miniseries Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune, which adapted the second and third novels in the Dune series, 1969’s Dune Messiah and 1976’s Children of Dune.

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Set in the distant future amid a feudal interstellar society, Dune tells the story of a family that gains control of Arrakis, a desert planet that’s the source of a drug known as “the spice.” Soon after, the family is betrayed, and must lead a rebellion to restore their rule of the planet.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth has been tapped to pen the script for Villeneuve’s adaptation. A release date has not yet been announced.

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