Denis Villeneuve is adding another high-profile talent to an already-loaded cast as sources tell Deadline Christopher Walken is set to play the Emperor in Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Dune: Part Two. Walken joins the all-star ensemble that includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya and Josh Brolin, who are expected to reprise their roles, as well Florence Pugh and Austin Butler, who were also recently announced. Villeneuve is back to write, direct and produce.
Legendary had no comment. Production is expected to start in the fall, with the film set to bow on October 20, 2023. Jon Spaihts is returning to co-write script with Villeneuve.
Even with Dune: Part One Going day-and-date on HBO Max, the film was still able to thrive in theaters with an opening weekend of $41 million, which exceeded expectations and led to a quick greenlight for a sequel weeks later. The film has grossed $400 million at the worldwide box office to date including $108 million domestically. It also recently racked up 10 Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
Walken is coming off two critically-acclaimed roles on TV with Amazon Studios’ The Outlaws and most recently severity, which was just renewed for a second season. He Is repped by ICM Partners.