Dune Star Jason Momoa Describes His ‘Han Solo-esque’ Character

Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho in Dune

Jason Momoa already has plenty of blockbuster experience under his belt, primarily from his time as Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe, but also from his sole appearance as Conan the Barbarian nearly a decade ago. At the end of this year, Momoa will add another blockbuster credit to his resume through his latest venture into the science fiction realm, as he’s appearing in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune as Duncan Idaho.

While longtime Dune fans are obviously quite familiar with Duncan Idaho, for those uninitiated into Frank Herbert’s mythology, Jason Momoa provided the following description of his character, where he briefly compares him to Star Wars favorite Han Solo. Momoa said:

I get to play this character Duncan Idaho, who’s kind of a master swordsman who’s made the right hand man to Duke Leto, who is Oscar Isaac’s [character]. He’s the first person to be sent out to land on Dune, and that’s when I meet the character that Javier Bardem plays. I can’t believe I had a scene with Javier Bardem! It’s him and Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Rebecca Ferguson and Stellan Skarsgård. It’s a pretty massive film and I get to be this little—he’s kind of the Han Solo-esque of the group. He’s kind of the rogue warrior who protects Timothée Chalamet and he serves Oscar Isaac.

Duncan Idaho precedes Han Solo by a little over a decade, but considering how popular the Star Wars franchise is, it’s understandable that the general public knows more about the smuggler from a galaxy, far far away than the swordsman for House Atreides. Still, this makes for a good primer for those who like Jason Momoa and wanted a quick primer on what to expect from him in Dune.

In David Lynch’s Dune movie, Duncan Idaho was played by Richard Jordan, while James Watson brought him to life in the Frank Herbert’s Dune miniseries and Edward Atterton took over as the character in the Children of Dune miniseries. It’ll be interesting to see how Jason Momoa’s version of Duncan compares to the one from the original source material, but no spoilers here for those who want to go into the new Dune movie fresh.

Jason Momoa also talked briefly about his time shooting Dune in Jordan, and the experience of working with Denis Villeneuve and such a large ensemble cast, while appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, saying:

We got to shoot in Wadi Rum. I’ve never seen anything like it, it was like shooting on another planet. Denis Villeneuve is shooting it, who did Sicario and Arrival. It was an honor to do that with him, and it’s a pretty stellar cast, I’ve never been a part of something so big.

Along with the actors that Jason Momoa mentioned earlier, Dune’s lineup includes Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Charlotte Rampling, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Chang Chen. Rather than cram all of Dune into one movie, Denis Villeneuve decided to spread the story across two movies, although a Dune sequel hasn’t gotten the official green light yet. There’s also a prequel spinoff series in the works for HBO Max called Dune: The Sisterhood.

Dune hits theaters on December 18, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage. Keep track of the movies that have been delayed as of late with our detailed guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.