Fancasting Dune Because Why Not?

David Lynch’s Dune is one of the first works of scifi that I remember–in the 80s, a network broadcast of Dune was an annual 2-night event for a few years (which would splice scenes from the extended version into the theatrical in order to fill up both two-hour timeslots) and something my whole family looked forward to watching. It was weird and alien and I loved it to bits. I don’t know that I would have picked up a copy of Herbert’s book (and subsequently inhaled the whole series) if I hadn’t seen Lynch’s beautifully bizarre film first.

I love the performances–Kyle Maclachlan is sublime as Paul Atreides, Patrick Stewart’s turn as Gurney Halleck is apparently what got him into the running to play Captain Picard, and Francesca Annis is perfection as Lady Jessica–but the whole film is terribly, inescapably white. And given how deeply embedded that default still is when casting science fiction blockbusters, I’m admittedly leery and not all that excited about yet another attempt to adapt Dune for the big screen (the less said about the SyFy Channel’s miniseries attempt the better–while Children of Dune did give us our very first glimpse at James McAvoy as Leto II, future God Emperor, most of the characters were badly miscast, especially William Hurt in an especially wooden performance as the doomed noble Duke Leto).

But my love for Dune and Herbert’s universe is such that I just went ahead and came up with my own fancasting for a remake and Tweeted it out. Because what else was I going to do during a long, drawn out bus ride home? (With thanks to Preeti Chhibber for inspiring this in the first place.)

(Note: the embedded tweets are going to appear slightly out of order from the thread given that I changed some of my first casting choices and I’m embedding them here to have the change immediately follow the original choice tweet.)

A few things I took away from this thread:

  • People really love Oded Fehr and they are absolutely correct to do so. If Fehr’s in Dune, he gets to LIVE through the whole movie, damn it.
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo could read the phone book and we’d all still love her (again, as is right and proper, which makes me convinced that she is, in fact, a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother and we’re all enslaved to her Voice).
  • Idris Elba has firmly replaced Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck in my head. Also I dearly just want to see him play the lute.
  • Apparently casting Lewis Tan as Duncan Idaho finally solved the mystery of why Idaho was so darned attractive to everyone in the books–because if he’s Lewis Tan it totally makes sense now.

Hey, Hollywood? If you make this version of Dune you will get all my shiny pennies and more, please and thank you.

PS: My 40th birthday is coming up and this would make a lovely present.

PPS: I know, it’s alas a dream, and the sleeper must awaken (what, I wasn’t about to let that lowest possible hanging fruit of a joke pass by).

Scene from Dune where a giant sandworm breaks the surface

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