Dune Messiah Keeping Timothée Chalamet Comes With One Small Problem

When the interviewer pointed out the events of “Dune Messiah” — including the jihad that killed 61 billion people — Villeneuve could only cuss at Chalamet, also present for the interview. The actor was amused by his director’s frustration. “I didn’t write it,” he said. The interviewers asked if Villeneuve, should he want to make “Dune Messiah,” would have to wait the necessary number of years to ensure Chalamet looked the right age. Or, horror of horrors, would a new actor be required? Villeneuve merely stated:

“He will look forever young. We’ll have to use the magic of A.I.” 

Digital de-aging and/or aging-up is still something of a dodgy proposition in 2024, as it rarely looks completely right. Actors still look like they’re wearing a strange animated “mask,” rather than merely looking older or younger. Film technology is advancing all the time, however, and Villeneuve would perhaps employ the correct ultra-advanced digital tools to make the youthful Chalamet less youthful. Or, more likely, Villeneuve would cast Chalamet as a 30-year-old Paul, not worry about how old he looks, and simply depict Paul as a father of Leto II and Ghanima. 

Villeneuve drained out several supernatural elements of “Dune,” keeping it a sociopolitical action thriller more than a high fantasy. He will have to directly face the magic soon, however, as there are ghost possessions, transferred consciousness, and other eerie psychic phenomena in the story going forward. As the “Dune” world becomes wilder, it will likely be unconcerned that a 30-year-old actor still looks 25

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