Chang Chen Dune

Chang Chen is the latest potential addition to Denis Villeneuve‘s ‘Dune’, which just began production.  Chen appears to still be in talks, so his casting has not been finalized.  This adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sprawling novel already has a huge cast, including Timothée Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, David Dastmalchian, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård, and Zendaya.

Chen will play Dr. Wellington Yueh, physician to the Atreides family, who in the film will consist of Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Ferguson as his wife, Lady Jessica, and Chalamet as their son, and the movie’s focal character Paul.  The Atreides family rules the desolate desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the rare and desirable substance known as Spice.  When they are overthrown, Paul mounts a rebellion to reclaim control.

Chen was first exposed to US audiences in Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts epic ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, in which Chen played the desert bandit Dark Cloud.  ‘Dune’ takes him back to another desert locale.  In recent years, Chen has starred in Chinese projects ‘Savage’, ‘Wu Wen Xi Dong’ (‘Forever Young’), ‘Ryu san’ (‘Mr. Long’) and more.  His career spans additional martial arts fantasies, as well as more modern action movies and serious dramas.  Last year, he won Best Actor at the Beijing Student Film Festival for Yang Lu’s ‘Xiu chun dao II: xiu luo zhan chang’ a.k.a. ‘Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield’.

‘Dune’ was originally adapted as a film in 1984. Directed by David Lynch, the film was poorly received and failed to capture the scope of Herbert’s novel.  In that film, Caucasian actor Dean Stockwell played Dr. Yueh.

Villeneuve’s take will only attempt to adapt the first part of the novel, with an eye on sequels should the first film do well.

This version of ‘Dune’ is slated to hit theaters on November 20, 2020.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter