Christopher Walken will portray the Emperor of the universe in Dune: Part Two, the upcoming second installment of director Denis Villenueve’s Oscar-nominated space epic.
Walken is the latest actor to join the cast for Dune: Part Two, following Florence Pugh (who will star as the Emperor’s daughter Princess Irulan) and Austin Butler (playing Feyd-Rautha, or the character Sting played in David Lynch’s Dune in 1984). The cast also includes Part One stars Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin and Rebecca Ferguson, the Hollywood Reporter writes.
While Emperor Shaddam IV plays a large role in author Frank Herbert’s Dune novel, the character didn’t appear in the first part of Villenueve’s Dune, building anticipation for the villain’s arrival. The role also cements Walken’s resurgence of late, as the beloved actor has recently appeared in popular streaming shows like Severance and The Outlaws.
As many people have noted on social media, Walken’s addition in Dune fulfills a prophecy cast over two decades ago by Fatboy Slim: His “Weapon of Choice” — bolstered by a now-legendary video directed by Spike Jonze and starring Walken and his dance moves — prominently featured the lyric “Walk without rhythm, and it won’t attract the worm,” which is advice doled out in Herbert’s novel. Thanks in part to Walken’s gyrations to the Dune quote, the visual would later win Best Music Video at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.