Christopher Walken joins Florence Pugh and Austin Butler in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming science fiction sequel Dune: Part II.

Christopher Walken has been cast as Emperor Shaddam IV, ruler of the known universe in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming sequel to 2021’s Dune. The character of the Emperor casts a shadow over the events of the first film, but will actually appear in the sequel, with Walken set to bring the character to life, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Denis Villeneuve publicly campaigned for a Dune sequel, and his first film did brisk enough business, earning over $400m, which was enough to convince Warner Bros to greenlight a follow-up. The casting in Dune was one of the film’s many strong elements, and the sequel certainly looks set to continue that trend.

Along with Walken playing the Emperor, Florence Pugh and Austin Butler will also join the franchise. Pugh is poised to play Princess Irulan, the daughter of the Emperor, whilst Butler, who has taken the title role in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis, will be playing Feyd-Rautha, the role played by Sting in the 1984 version of the film directed by David Lynch.

Shooting is set to begin this summer in Budapest. We’ll bring you more updates on the project as we hear them.

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