The possible hesitation related to Chalamet’s casting was understandable. At the beginning of Frank Herbert’s first “Dune” book, Paul Atreides is only 15 years old, but he ages throughout the sprawling series. “That was a discussion that took place because in the book he was a little bit younger,” Maisler explained, “but that wouldn’t work for the whole movie, so a discussion took place about Timothée before he was hired.” Clearly, Villeneuve had aspirations to adopt more than just the beginning of the “Dune” story, and the team behind the film ultimately decided Chalamet could embody Paul as he grew up.

This was a wise casting choice on Maisler’s part, as “Dune: Part Two” sees Paul thrown into more adult situations that wouldn’t work as well if an actual teen had been cast in the role. If Villeneuve pulls off an adaptation of “Dune Messiah” next, Paul will be 12 years into his rule and on the verge of becoming a father — all plot points that are more believable with the now-28-year-old Chalamet in the role instead of someone younger (though Villeneuve has joked that Chalamet will look too young forever). The first-ever “Dune” film adaptation, David Lynch’s 1984 effort, also opted out of choosing a teen lead, instead casting 24-year-old Kyle MacLachlan in the role of Paul.



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