Javier Bardem was one of the many celebrated actors who forged the ensemble cast of last year’s Dune. The Oscar-winning actor will be returning for Dune 2, and before that happens, he’s let director Denis Villeneuve that there’s one thing he needs for the film. All things considered, it’s tough to blame him. Javier Bardem wants to ride one of the massive worms of Arrakis.
Javier Bardem revealed the one thing on his Dune 2 wishlist while speaking to Deadline about his recent portrayal of the late I Love Lucy actor Desi Arnaz in Amazon’s Being the Ricardos. When the subject of Dune 2 came up, Bardem confessed, “The only thing I’m asking is that I get to ride a sandworm.” Laughing, Bardem added that Villeneuve had promised to do what he could “to make that happen.” He also added that allowing Bardem’s character to ride a sandworm would be faithful to the source material. Bardem said, “That does happen in the book, by the way. Stilgar teaches Paul [Atreides] how to take the desert power, which is to domesticate those huge animals in order to use their force, their strength, and their huge size against the Harkonnen.”
The actor also told Deadline there weren’t any spoilers to get out of him about Dune 2. “I haven’t read anything yet,” Javier Bardem said. “I know as much as you do at this point. I hear there are scripts but I haven’t read anything. I cannot wait to put myself into the hands of Denis Villeneuve again. I love the guy.”
The role of Stilgar is a bit of a shift from Javier Bardem’s more well-known parts. Stilgar is the Fremen leader of those Arrakis natives living in Sietch Tabr — the one who meets with Duke Leo (Oscar Isaac) not long before his death, and who later allows Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) to join his Sietch toward the end of the film. Stilgar is a heroic character, while Bardem has gained a reputation playing iconic villains. He was the Bond villain Silva in 2012’s Skyfall, Captain Salazar in 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mean Tell No Tales, and of course the iconic and superhumanly chilling Anton Chigurth of 2007’s No Country for Old Men.
It could be because of Javier Bardem’s darker roles that he was tapped to play Stilgar. While he is heroic, at first Stilgar is supposed to come off as a little questionable. When we first meet him, he’s largely dismissive of Duke Leo and the Atreides. Later, we aren’t sure whether he’d rather help Paul and Lady Jessica or murder them. Maybe someone with a little bit of menace in their background is exactly who Villeneuve was looking for.
We’ll get to see more of Javier Bardem’s Stilgar when Dune: Part Two is released October 20, 2o23. Most of the principal cast is expected to return (at least, in the cases of characters who survived) including Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Zendaya as Chani, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, and Dave Bautista as Rabban. However, it’s been reported that rather than telling Dune 2 from Paul’s point of view, the sequel’s protagonist will be Zendaya’s Chani.