DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Timothée Chalamet is in final talks to star in the Denis Villeneuve-directed Dune, the cinematic relaunch of one of the most celebrated science fiction properties of all time for Legendary.
Legendary acquired film and TV rights to the Frank Herbert novels Dune in 2016, with the intention of making multiple films. Villeneuve chose that film over numerous offers as his followup to Blade Runner 2049. That included James Bond, this well before Danny Boyle came in with his own take for that movie that was drafted by John Hodge.
Chalamet will play the lead, which in the David Lynch-directed original was Kyle MacLachlan. The young nobleman Paul Atreides is the central figure in the series of sprawling epic novels first published in 1965. It is set in the far future involving worlds beyond Earth, ruled over by competing feudal families who control access to a drug called Melange. Known popularly as “spice,” the drug gives its users heightened consciousness and an extended lifespan at the cost of crippling addiction and fatal withdrawal. Spice, use of which makes interstellar travel possible, is found only on the desert planet of Arrakis — aka “Dune” — and as such is the most valuable commodity in the galaxy. The original was a contentious shoot, with Lynch battling his producers and financiers, but Dune has been tapped successfully for the small screen and the version by Villeneuve, after films from Incendies to Sicario, Arrival to Blade Runner 2049, makes for about as anticipated an iconic scifi novel series adaptation as you’ll find in Hollywood, Game of Thrones meets Star Wars.
Chalamet is coming off an acclaimed and Oscar-nominated performance in the Luca Guadagnino-directed Call Me By Your Name, and he follows with another Oscarbait picture, as the title character in Amazon Studios’ Beautiful Boy, the harrowing true chronicle of addiction first depicted in the bestselling father-son memoirs by David and Nic Sheff. Chalamet stars with Steve Carell for director Felix van Groeningen, who wrote the script with Luke Davies, based on the memoirs Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and Tweak by Nic Sheff.
Chalemet is repped by UTA and attorney Lev Ginsburg.