NEW DELHI: Academy Award nominee Denis Villeneuve says when he decided to direct his upcoming magnum opus "Dune", he knew he wanted to cast Hollywood's rising star Timothee Chalamet to play the lead character of Paul Atreides.
Chalamet, known for films like "Call Me By Your Name", "Lady Bird" and "Beautiful Boy", stars as Paul, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.
As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence -- a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential -- only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Calling Chalamet "a tremendous, amazing, incredible actor", the filmmaker said it was not difficult to convince him because the Oscar nominee loved the script and they wanted to work together.
"The process of choosing Timothee Chalamet was very simple: there was no process. There was only Timothee. I had no plan B. I mean, I was making 'Dune' with Timothee Chalamet, that's it, that's all," Villeneuve said in a statement.
The director said he needed a "strong actor" to headline his retelling of the sci-fi epic "Dune" and Chalamet fit the role like a glove.
"First of all is that Timothee is very thoughtful and that is something that reflects in the eyes. It's something that you feel. Paul is an intellectual, and we need to feel that throughout the movie, that he is someone that has doubt, that will reimagine the world around him and embrace a different reality and adapt to a new reality. That takes a lot of intelligence, the capacity for adaptation, and it's something that I wanted to see in Paul Atreides," he added.
The character of Paul is immensely charismatic, a trait that the young actor possessed, Villeneuve explained.
"We have to believe that he could become, in the future, a religious leader who can lead an army. So I needed that charisma, and Timothee has that insane rock star quality. And also he looks very young. Paul is an old soul, but in the book he is 15, 16 years old. Timothee was 22, 23 when we shot the movie, so he's a bit older, but on camera he looks like a teenager. So that was the perfect combination for Paul Atreides," the director, known for films like "Arrival", "Blade Runner 2049" and "Sicario", said.
The film also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling with Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem.
A theatrical adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal bestseller of the same name, "Dune" will be released by Warner Bros Pictures across India on October 22, barring Maharashtra were it will hit the screens on October 29.