‘Dune’ actors say film focuses on themes of family, identity

Photo provided by Warner Bros./Courtbouillon
Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet star in a remake of “Dune,” in theaters and on HBO Max now

NEW ORLEANS (November 19, 2021) – A sequel to the science fiction film “Dune” was recently approved for a sequel expected to hit theaters in October 2023, director Denis Villeneuve announced in the Hollywood Reporter as the first film had the best opening weekend of his career at $41 million.

The first film in the series is currently playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. Stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, interviewed by college journalists recently, said they want the film to inspire a new generation of fans.

Chalamet, who plays Paul Artiedes, and Zendaya, who plays Chani, spoke about themes of family and identity in the movie.

Paul Atreides, son of the king, struggles with navigating his identity in the House of Atreides while he faces a prophecy. Chalamet said that these difficulties are universal and that a person’s environment can affect his ability to deal with them. Paul Atreides developed a relationship with Chani throughout the first movie, and the relationship is expected to grow in the second.

Former newspaper journalist and photographer Frank Hebert wrote the 1965 “Dune” and its five sequels. David Lynch filmed the first adaptation in 1984.

Chani, a Freman love interest of Paul Atreides, is a dangerous warrior. She protects outsiders from her world. Zendaya shared that both she and her character have dealt with the responsibility of growing up more quickly than expected because of life circumstances. Even so, she conceded that “Chani has probably been through more than I have ever been.” 

Chalamet and Zendaya said lessons in "Dune" can be applied to everyday life in “fighting for what is right socially,… environmentally, and standing up for groups that are easily oppressed.” Issues surrounding technology’s influence on our lives also are examined in the film, the actors said. Zendaya said the characters grapple with “determining what is the right thing and still surviving.”

The cast members said they hoped to introduce a new generation to the “Dune” series, which Villeneuve said he fell in love with when he was 13.