Dune 2 Casts Fan-Favorite Marvel Actress As Princess Irulan

By Nathan Kamal | 2 months ago

dune 2

Dune 2 has cast one of the franchise’s most pivotal roles with Florence Pugh. The British actor is in negotiations to play Princess Irulan of House Corrino, the daughter of the (as yet uncast) Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. If you are not a devotee of the Dune books, just trust us that she is very important to the complex political machinations that make up so much of the story (and differentiate it from other space operas). Although the Hawkeye star has not been fully confirmed in the role, even that there is a public announcement of her likely involvement means it’s almost certainly a lock. 

florence pugh

It will be interesting to see how Dune 2 treats the character of Princess Irulan, particularly after casting someone with as much buzz around her as Florence Pugh currently has in Hollywood. In the original source material by novelist Frank Herbert, Princess Irulan is almost entirely an unseen character, but constantly present meta-textually. Nearly every chapter of the book is introduced with a brief literary snippet from a (presumably future) Princess Irulan, functioning as both a commentary on the actions of the book and a world-building tool for the Dune universe. David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Dune approached this by largely presenting his version of Princess Irulan (Virginia Madsen) as a narrator, but Denis Villeneuve will almost certainly adjust the material to make her a more active character. 

Denis Villeneuve has already indicated that Dune 2 will shift from the source material by focusing on Zendaya’s Chani, a Fremen warrior, as the central character rather than Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides. It would make sense for a Princess Irulan played by Florence Pugh to also be more centered within the narrative, particularly in the rare science-fiction franchise that has a large female roster of roles. Villeneuve has also promised that Dune 2 will feature more of the Harkonnen family, the traditional enemy of the Atreides and the de facto instrument of their destruction on Arrakis. This certainly means more of Stellan Skarsgård’s grotesque Baron Vladimir and Dave Bautista, who basically had a cameo as his nephew “Beast” Rabban. Even more intriguingly, it hints that we may see another of the most primary characters, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. In both the novel and previous adaptions, Feyd-Rautha acts as a kind of dark mirror to Paul, so it will be very interesting to see who is cast. At the very least, they face the daunting task of following this


Dune 2 is scheduled to be released October 20, 2023. Barring more Covid-19 pandemic-related delays that most film productions experienced in the last several years, we will be seeing all these characters on screen relatively soon. Denis Villeneuve has also said that he envisioned the films as a trilogy, but as with most things, it will likely all depend on the box office grosses. At this point, Warner Bros appears to be all in, so hopefully, they will meet Javier Bardem’s one demand and get him up on a sandworm soon. As of press time, the sandworm has not been cast.