Entertainment

'Dune: Part Two' Casts Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam

The Dune sequel's stacked cast also includes Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Florence Pugh.

Walken at a film screening in 2019.
Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage

Legendary actor Christopher Walken has joined the cast of Dune: Part Two. He'll star as Emperor Shaddam IV, according to The Hollywood Reporter, because who better to embody the ruler of the known universe and cosmic main villain of the Dune saga?

Dune: Part Two will continue Denis Villeneuve's star-studded adaptation of Frank Herbert's best-selling novel after Part One mentioned the Emperor but didn't show him. Florence Pugh and Austin Butler will also join Part One's returning stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson and Javier Bardem in the sequel. It's set to arrive on Oct. 23, 2023.

Although unseen, the Emperor set the events of Dune in motion when he pitted Oscar Isaac's noble House Atreides against the bad guys, the Harkonnens. The Emperor secretly sent his shock troops to help the Harkonnnens, and although they reclaimed control of the desert world of Arrakis, the Emperor now faces retaliation from Chalamet's messianic Paul Atreides and his new friends the Fremen.

José Ferrer previously played the Emperor in David Lynch's 1984 film, and Giancarlo Giannini played the character in a 2000 miniseries. 

Walken's film credits include Pulp Fiction, The Dead Zone and The Deer Hunter, which earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1978.