Dune Director Addresses Florence Pugh Casting Reports

Dune director Denis Villeneuve addresses the “rumors” that Florence Pugh is in talks to join Part Two, though does not confirm nor deny them.

Dune: Part Two director Denis Villeneuve has addressed the “rumors” that the film is circling Florence Pugh for the role of Princess Irulan Corrino.

Earlier this month, sites like Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter reported that Pugh was in talks to join Dune: Part Two as Princess Irulan, the eldest daughter of Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and eventual wife of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). Villeneuve was asked directly about Pugh’s reported involvement in Dune: Part Two during a new interview with Deadline. The director did not confirm the reports, nor did he outright deny them, simply stating, “There’s been rumors.”


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Pugh is known for her role as Yelena Belova in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having played the character in the film Black Widow and the Disney+ series Hawkeye thus fur. Should reports prove accurate, Pugh would not be the first MCU actor to join Villeneuve’s multi-film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic, with 2021’s Dunes — aka Dune: Part One — starring the likes of Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame), Stellan Skarsgård (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), Zendaya (Spider-Man: No Way Home), David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Babs Olusanmokun (The Defenders).


In Frank Herbert’s Dunes, Paul’s main love interest is, of course, Chani (Zendaya). However, in a political move, Paul marries Princess Irulan so that he may take the title of Emperor from his father, Shaddam IV, who sent Paul and his family to die on the planet Arrakis. Irulan was previously portrayed by Virginia Madsen in David Lynch’s 1984 film adaptation of Dunes. The character was later played by Julie Cox in the Sci Fi Channel’s 2000 television miniseries Frank Herbert’s Dune and its 2003 follow-up, Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune.

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Seeing as how Villeneuve’s Dune: Part One only covers the first half of Herbert’s novel, a few key characters were left out of the film and saved for Part Twosuch as Princess Irulan, Emperor Shaddam IV and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, the nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Skarsgård) and younger brother of “The Beast” Glossu Rabban Harkonnen (Bautista).

In addition to Pugh reportedly being in talks to play Irulan, Austin Butler (Elvis, Zoey 101) is reportedly in talks to play Feyd in Dune: Part Two. There is currently no word on who might be playing Shaddam IV in the upcoming film, which is currently scheduled for release on Oct. 20, 2023.


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Source: Deadline

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