“Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “The Greatest Showman” actress Zendaya is reportedly being eyed to play Chani, the love interest of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” adaptation at Legendary Pictures. Collider broke the report, saying she was one of a handful of non-white actresses to test for the role.
Set in the distant future, the story follows Paul whose noble family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only planet capable of producing the highly valuable resource known as the spice melange which allows for space travel, control of Arrakis is highly contested amongst the noble families. When the Atreides are betrayed, Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control.
Chani appears to Paul in dreams whilst he’s still living in his home on the planet Caladan and turns out to be a skilled Fremen warrior. Sean Young played the role in David Lynch’s 1984 film while Barbora Kodetova played it in the 2000 mini-series.
The film is racking up a stellar cast including Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson as Paul’s parents, Stellan Skarsgard as the villain Baron Harkonnen with Dave Bautista as his murderous nephew, and Charlotte Rampling as the Reverend Mother Mohiam.
Key roles still to be announced include Feyd, Princess Irulan, Emperor Shaddam IV, Duncan Idaho, Gurney Halleck, Dr. Wellington Yueh, and Alia Atreides. Villeneuve co-wrote the script along with Oscar-winner Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts.