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Jason Momoa was once best known for his infamous role as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, but since his Aquaman role came along, the actor has quickly become a household name. In recent weeks, Denis Villenueve has been casting big stars left and right for his Dune movie, and Momoa is now the latest actor to join the sci-fi novel adaptation.
After recently lending his voice to LEGO Aquaman in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Jason Momoa is now in negotiations to star in Dune as Duncan Idaho, according to Deadline. He will join an already jam-packed cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Stellan Starsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin. (Whew, that’s like half of Hollywood!)
Following Denis Villenueve's recent success with sci-fi dramas Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, the director is turning to Frank Herbert’s best-selling novel, previously adapted for screen in 1984 by Twin Peaks’ David Lynch. The story follows a young man named Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) who must a lead a rebellion to restore his family’s control of the desert planet Arrakis against an evil galactic emperor who assassinates his father (Oscar Isaac).
Jason Momoa’s character is a skilled swordsman who is loyal to Paul Atreides’ noble cause and is the only character to be featured in all six Dune novels. The upcoming Dune movie will reportedly only cover half of the first book, and Denis Villenueve has shown interest in making at least two Dune films, so Momoa could potentially have another franchise on his hands.
The source material is one of the most dense and complex sci-fi series, so spreading out the books in multiple movies is a smart move. 1984’s Dune greatly struggled with this, as it was an overall mess and was met with negative critical reception and box office failure.
Denis Villenueve has compared his Dune vision as "Star Wars for adults." The novels certainly explore political, religious and man vs. nature themes. Villenueve will be directing Dune and wrote the script with A Star is Born co-writer Eric Roth and Doctor Strange co-writer Jon Spaihts.
Jason Momoa is just coming off the monumental success of Aquaman, which is expected to close out the box office with an estimated $1.15 billion in worldwide earnings. This would put Aquaman at the 20th highest-grossing movie of all time in between Captain America: Civil War and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.