Zendaya talks Dune Part 2, and Timothée Chalamet is hype

Zendaya was late to the party on Arrakis, her character Chani only popping up in earnest in the final act of Dennis Villeneuve’s celebrated epic, but she’s excited to make up for lost time. Deadline’s new cover story goes deep on where Dune Part TwoThe stakes now are too high to have one success story of worm size and then another.

While the Dune sequel will be an ensemble, perhaps no one person will be as crucial to the movie’s success as Zendaya, who plays Chani. She’s a love interest to Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atredies, but that hardly begins to describe her role. Chani is a part of a very small number. Dune Part OneZendaya describes how she was able quickly adapt to a cast that had been almost completely formed when she arrived.

“I met everybody fully in the stillsuits. So that was a very cool way to be introduced to everyone, pretty much in their character,” she tells Deadline. She also credits director Denis Villeneuve, who is “great at giving you structure, but then also giving you freedom within that structure.”

Und so for Part IIShe has good reasons to be excited. “I can be there for longer, which is cool,” she jokes, following the understatement with genuine promise. Zendaya claims that she will be able to learn more about her character by taking a break from filming. “What was cool for me having not been around for much of the first shoot was getting to see the movie from a completely fresh perspective, because I hadn’t seen the sets and the scenes for most of the movie. And watching it felt like just the beginning of this story.”

Even if we didn’t get much of Zendaya in the first film, Chalamet says her character is already fully formed and alive. The sequel will give her even more time to enjoy that sweet taste.

“She Is Chani, and it’s incredible to witness,” the actor says. “From the get-go, she was that character, and it was inspiring to see. Chani removing the mask for the first and only time is an amazing scene. However, even that day it felt like: Holy sh*t, Chani has arrived. There’s the book, and there have been other adaptations, but not only was the relationship between us alive in Jordan, and not only does it live on the screen now, it was there just at the first chemistry read. It felt obvious.”

Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet at “Dune” UK Special Screening - Red Carpet Arrivals

Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet attending at DuneLondon Screening
Photo by Samir Hassein/WireImage

This Deadline article explains some of Villeneuve’s larger decisions regarding the project. They shot each part individually and decided to release both the film on YouTube and in theatres simultaneously. As Villeneuve said in conversation with Christopher Nolan earlier this year (recorded for the Director’s Guild podcast), shooting both movies back-to-back was his hope … but it also would have been a huge mistake. Warner Bros. ultimtaely didn’t go for it — the director’s previous film, Blade Runner 2042 didn’t perform at the box office well enough to inspire confidence to do a movie and a sequel in one blow — but Villeneuve was thankful they pushed him to take his time with one movie.

“I would have died,” Villeneuve admitted, saying one movie was enough of a physical and mental drain. “I’m so happy that we didn’t. It would have been impossible for me to keep going. Frankly, the truth is that I’m grateful that it happened this way.”

Villeneuve also says that Deadline is the right time to make the decision to do. Part oneHis vision of eventual release would be also served by this. Part II. These big films deserve big screens.

“There’s something about the power of the big screen and the sound system that you cannot find at home. You become almost spiritual when you have an audience. That is the thing humans crave. We aren’t meant to live in isolation, I believe. Our purpose is to be together. And cinema really is one of the last places that can happen,” he says.

The unprecedented nature of the pandemic made for a “delicate” situation that the director came to respect. Streaming is “not the ideal way to see the movie, and the movie was not meant to be seen on a TV screen.” But, as Parent notes, “we had already sat on the movie for a year, so thinking about sitting on it for another year was very stressful.”

The biggest stress now comes from “getting all these people assembled” for Part IIThese people include Javier Bardem, Javier Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson and Jason Momoa, to name just a few. It’s a problem that stems from shooting each part separately, which was a problem that came from what parent describes as a lack of resources.

“We’re not a Marvel movie and we didn’t have a Marvel budget,” she says, saying that “at $165 million we’re on the smaller side of a big movie.” For context, the production cost on a recent Marvel picture, EternalIt was estimated that the value of this pin is around $200 million.

However, it is now possible to Dune was proven itself as a hit, its sequel will hew closer to the Villeneuve’s choices. That means there will be a limited theatrical release window of 45 days. “For me, it was a non-negotiable condition,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in October, although he stressed that streaming is a “fantastic way of revisiting movies or discovering movies from the past that are not accessible in theaters anymore.”

Although it will be a challenge to “stay in the same spirit as Part one, while still trying to bring something new to it, cinematically,” Villeneuve seems psyched to get back to his desert, his Arrakis, his Dune. “Part 2 of DuneThis is a new baby. We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. The shooting is scheduled to start in the fall of 2022.

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