Denis Villeneuve’s Dune may have been a critical and box office hit, but cast member Josh Brolin was not particularly happy with his character arc in the film. Brolin played Gurney Halleck, the Warmaster for Duke Leto’s (Oscar Isaac) House Atreides in the sci-fi epic based on Frank Herbert’s classic novel. When we last saw Gurney, he was leading a counter-attack against House Harkonnen on the desert planet Arrakis, and then he just disappeared about halfway through the film. Although the narrative shifted to Timothée Chalamet’s character of Paul Atreides and his journey to meet the Fremen (the planet’s native inhabitants), the fate of Brolin’s Gurney is left open-ended. That initially didn’t sit well with Brolin, although the actor’s attitude has shifted, now that he knows how the sequel plays out.
Villeneuve chose to split the adaptation of Herbert’s novel into two films, to preserve the entire story. That meant some storylines were left unresolved by the end of the first film, which saw Paul Atreides joining the Fremen’s Stilgar (Javier Bardem) and Chani (Zendaya) for a battle yet to come. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Brolin says he has now read the script for Dune: Part Two, and understands Gurney’s story isn’t over. “So having just read the second one about two weeks ago, I now know why that was the way it was,” Brolin says of his abrupt disappearance. “So I think it was a good place. When I watched it, I was like, ‘Where did I go?’ I think that was the first reaction. ‘That’s it?’ But that was all selfish,” he now says.
According to Cinemablend, filming for Dune: Part Two begins this summer, and Josh Brolin admits he has some work to do before he is back in shape for the sequel. He even joked about his physical appearance during a recent appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan, claiming that he got out of shape while raising his young children. He has to show them how to eat, and ended up eating himself out of shape. “You have to eat to show them what to do,” he said. “It’s a parental learning thing. My 3-year-old doesn’t want to eat so I’m like ‘You do it like this.’ And then I keep doing it, and then you have it make more food, and then this happens,” showing off his belly. He even admitted that he and Javier Bardem compared each other’s paunches when they met at this year’s Academy Awards, with both acknowledging they have work to do before the camera roll.
Filming on Dune: Part Two begins this July, with Josh Brolin joining Chalamet, Bardem, and Zendaya alongside returning actors Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica, Stellan Skarsgård (Baron Harkonnen), and Dave Bautista (Beast Rabban Harkonnen). No new cast members have been announced, although Florence Pugh (Black Widow) and Austin Butler (Elvis) are rumored to be joining the cast. Dune: Part Two opens in theaters on October 20, 2023. HBO Max is also planning a prequel series called Dune: The Sisterhood.
Dune was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, although Denis Villeneuve was snubbed for a Best Director nod, and Josh Brolin and the rest of the cast failed to get any acting nominations. The film did win six Oscars, including Best Cinematography, Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer), and Best Visual Effects. Brolin had previously worked with Denis Villeneuve on Sicario, and he can be seen currently on Amazon Prime’s series Outer Range. He is perhaps best known to younger audiences for his role in The Goonies, as well as his roles as Thanos in the Avengers films and as Cable in Deadpool 2.