Stellan Skarsgard has joined the quickly growing cast of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune in the role of the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. The Baron Harkonnen is one of the chief antagonists from Dune, with the Harkonnen and Atreides families having an ancient blood feud against one another spanning back over a thousand years. The film is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary science fiction novel, considered by many to be a literary classic, having won numerous awards and cited as one of the finest tales within the genre.
Monday it was announced that Dave Bautista would be reuniting with Villeneuve by joining the cast as the Baron’s nephew, the sadistic and cruel Glossu “The Beast” Rabban Harkonnen. The pair worked together previously on another sci-fi epic, Blade Runner 2049. Skarsgard and Bautista join Timotheè Chamalet in the lead role of Paul “Maud’Dib” Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson as the Lady Jessica.
Thousands of years into the future, the Atreides family arrives on the planet Dune to govern after the Harkonnen’s departure at the command of the Emperor, whom both families serve. Dune is the only planet in the galaxy that produces the drug melange, more commonly known as “spice,” which the galaxy spanning empire depends on to function. Together with the Emperor, the Baron plots to destroy the increasing popular Atreides family and retake Dune along with the extravagant riches it produces.
Prior to Skarsgard, two actors have played the Baron: Kenneth McMillan in David Lynch’s Dune film in 1984, and then Ian McNeice in Frank Herbert’s Dune, a three-part miniseries produced by the SyFy channel in 2000. McNeice returned for the sequel, Frank Hernert’s Children of Dune in 2003. Both of McNeice’s performances earned high praise from critics and fans alike, and both miniseries were two of the three highest-rated programs ever broadcasted on the SyFy channel.
Skarsgard is known for his many appearances in Marvel’s cinematic universe, with appearances in Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and several Pirates of the Caribbean films.
There’s no estimated released date available for the film at this time. Shooting will being spring 2019 in Budapest and Jordan.