‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’s David Dastmalchian is the latest actor to join the huge cast of Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel ‘Dune’. Dastmalchian will portray Piter De Vries, a twisted Mentat, a human whose brain has been trained to perform calculations rivaling computers. Mentats are illegal throughout the galaxy, but Piter serves Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who will be portrayed by fellow Marvel alum, Stellan Skarsgård (he played scientist Erik Selvig in the ‘Thor’ movies and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’). In the original David Lynch-directed ‘Dune’, released in 1984, Brad Dourif portrayed Piter.
Dastmalchian also appeared in Villeneuve’s last movie, ‘Blade Runner 2049’.
Timothée Chalamet stars in the update as Paul Atreides, a man whose family comes to rule the desert planet Arrakis. Rebecca Ferguson and Oscar Isaac will portray his parents Lady Jessica and Duke Leto Atreides. While Arrakis is desolate and sparsely populated, it is the only source of “the melange” or “spice” a drug that is used to extend life and expand mental capacity, so it becomes a highly contested prize among various noble families. After the Atreides family is betrayed, Paul forms a rebellion to reclaim Arrakis. The novel explored themes of politics, religion, and ecology among others.
The cast also includes Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Dave Bautista as Glossu ‘Beast’ Rabban, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, and Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam. Reportedly, Zendaya is being sought to play Paul’s romantic interest Chani.
Dastmalchian is an in-demand character actor. In addition to ‘Ant-Man’, and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, and ‘Blade Runner 2049’, he had a role in last year’s Netflix hit ‘Bird Box’, and has appeared in the films ‘The Belko Experiment’ and ‘The Dark Knight’. He co-stars on ‘MacGyver’ as Murdoc, and has also popped up on TV series such as ‘The Flash’, ‘Gotham’, ‘Twin Peaks’, ’12 Monkeys’, ‘CSI’, ‘Almost Human’, ‘Ray Donovan’, and ‘The League’.
‘Dune’ is scheduled to be released on November 20, 2020.