Christopher Walken Joining 'Dune Part 2'

Christopher Walken has a fever, and the only prescription is more spice. The Oscar-winner reportedly joined Denis Villeneuve's Dune: Part Two. The film will cover the second half of Frank Hubert's beloved sci-fi novel, picking up right where Dune: Part One ended.

Walken was cast as Emperor Shaddam IV, the ruler of the known universe who sent the Atreides family to Arrakis to cause their downfall notes The Hollywood Reporter. In the second half, the Emperor joins Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) to terrorize Arrakis' population and fight the rebellion. The late Jose Ferrer played the Emperor in David Lynch's 1984 Dune adaptation.

Florence Pugh (Black Widow) and Austin Butler (Elvis) were previously cast in key roles. Pugh will play the Emperor's daughter, Princess Irulan. Butler was cast as Feyd-Rautha, the nephew of the baron who leads House Harkonnen and is groomed to become Arrakis' new leader.

Most of the cast from Dune: Part One is returning, including Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Zendaya as the Fremen woman Chani. Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, and James Brolin are also returning. Filming will begin in Budapest, with Villeneuve returning to direct. He also co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Spaihts. Mary Parent, Villeneuve, Cale Boyter, and Tanya Lapointe are the producers.

Although Dune: Part One was released to HBO Max the same day it hit theaters, the movie became a must-see event last fall. It grossed over $400 million worldwide and won instant critical acclaim. The movie was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. It won more Oscars than any other film in March, nearly sweeping all technical categories on its way to six wins.

In March, Villeneuve told Collider the script for Dune: Part Two was almost finished. He also hinted at adapting Hubert's second Dune novel, Dune: Messiah. "I could envision a third movie and to make the adaptation of Dune Messiah that will complete Paul Atreides's story that I think would make sense," he told the site. "But each movie, those movies are monsters, and I can only do one at a time. If I survive Dune: Part Two, then I might do the Messiah."

Walken won an Oscar for his supporting role in The Deer Hunter (1978) and earned a second nomination in 2003 for Catch Me If You Can. He recently starred in Apple TV+'s Severance, which was renewed for a second season. He also has a role in Amazon Prime video's The Outlaws.