The 'Dune' films have found their emperor: Christopher Walken joins cast for 'Part Two'

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Dune: Part Two continues to bolster its cast with another high-profile addition: Christopher Walken.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Walken has signed on to play the role of the Emperor (no, not Palpatine) in director Denis Villeneuve's follow-up to his Oscar-winning 2021 hit, Dune. The iconic actor, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Universal's The Deer Hunter, joins previous Dune stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya and Josh Brolin.

Fellow newcomers Florence Pugh and Austin Butler round out the impressive ensemble.

While Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. had no comment on the casting, what we do know is that Villeneuve is back to co-write, direct and produce the much-anticipated sequel, which will find Walken playing the Padishah Emperor, the ruler of the universe in the world of Dune.

As audiences discovered in the first Dune movie, it is the Padishah Emperor who dispatches Paul (Chalamet) and the rest of the Atreides family to Arrakis in order to cause their downfall. In the sequel, Walken's character is expected to "contest the burgeoning rebellion", according to THR. Jose Ferrer previously played the role in David Lynch's 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel.

Pugh is set to play the Padishah Emperor's daughter, Princess Irulan, while Butler will appear in the role of Feyd-Rautha, the cunning nephew of House Harkonnen's head baron. Feyd-Rautha is being groomed to rule Arrakis.

Villeneuve co-wrote the screenplay with Dune and Passengers screenwriter Jon Spaihts. The sequel will be shot this summer in Budapest.

Dune arrived in theaters and on HBO Max (a then-controversial release strategy) in October 2021, where it went on to gross $400.6 million worldwide and win six Oscars.

Dune: Part Two is slated to arrive in theaters October 2023.

While we wait for Dune to return, you can check out sci-fi shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic and more streaming now on Peacock. Looking ahead, SYFY has the new series The Ark in the works from original Stargate film writer Dean Devlin, as well as Stargate SG-1 producer Jonathan Glassner.

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