Dune's Denis Villeneuve Explains Why He Saved A Fan-Favorite Character For Part Two

Sting as Feyd-Rautha in 1984 Dune movie
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Like the original novel penned by Frank Herbert and the film adaptation directed by David Lynch, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune boasted a stacked ensemble cast. However, unlike Lynch’s Dune, Villeneuve’s version only chronicled the first half of Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi tale, and as such there were a handful characters who weren’t present for the movie that premiered in theaters and on HBO Max last month. This included Feyd-Rautha, nephew of the malevolent Baron Harkonnen, but Dune fans needn’t worry, as Villeneuve has confirmed that Feyd will appear in Dune: Part Two.

During an extensive interview with Empire about Dune, Denis Villeneuve said the following about why he decided to save Feyd-Rautha for the Dune sequel rather than fit him into this first movie. The filmmaker explained:

That's a choice that I personally brought on. There was enough characters that were introduced in this first part, and it will be more elegant to keep Feyd for Part Two. It will be definitely a very, very important character in the second part.

As seen in the picture at the top of the article, Feyd-Rautha was memorably played by Sting in David Lynch’s Dune, whole Matt Keeslar portrayed the character in the then-Sci-Fi Channel’s miniseries adaptation. I won’t share any specific spoilers here for people unfamiliar with Dune beyond Denis Villeneuve’s movie, but it is worth noting that is Feyd an important component of Vladimir Harkonnen’s plans, to the point that the Baron favors Feyd over his older brother, Glossu Raban. Feyd also repeatedly shows that he’s just as treacherous as his uncle, and the events in the latter half of the original Dune story lead to him clashing with Paul Atreides.

We spent a fair amount of time with Baron Harkonnen and Glossu Raban, played respectively by Stellan Skarsgård and Dave Bautista, in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which has been met with a lot of positive critical reception and made over $354 million worldwide so far. Now the stage is set for Feyd-Rautha to join them in their sinister machinations for Dune: Part Two, which was officially greenlit by Warner Bros. and Legendary just five days after its predecessor arrived. Once it was announced that the sequel was on the day, fans didn’t waste time pitching candidates who could bring Feyd to life, including The Batman’s Robert Pattinson, IT’s Bill Skarsgård (Stellan’s son) and Eternals’ Barry Keoghan, the latter of whom told CinemaBlend he’d “love to work with Denis Villeneuve.”

Rest assured that we’ll let you know who’s ultimately selected to play Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two, which is slated for an October 20, 2023 release and could begin filming by next summer. There’s also a spinoff series called Dune: The Sisterhood in development for HBO Max that will focus on the Bene Gesserit, and Villeneuve has expressed in making a movie based on the second Dune book, Dune Messiah.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.