Dune 2 star Stellan Skarsgård couldn't wait to work with Austin Butler on the sequel and praises his "deliciously evil" performance

dune 2
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Ever since we first got a glimpse at a bald Austin Butler in the initial teaser for sci-fi sequel Dune 2, fans have been very excited to see the Elvis star's villainous turn as the menacing Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. And it turns out they weren't the only ones, as actor Stellan Skarsgård admits that he too was also very, very excited to see exactly what Butler would bring to the role.

Returning as Vladimir Harkonnen, Skarsgård's Baron is searching for a successor this time round and thinks his nephew Feyd-Rautha may be a potentially suitable fit, despite the fact he has a reputation as, let's be honest, quite the psychopath. The pair therefore share several scenes together as the Baron tests the young heir, seeing if he is the right man to follow in his footsteps.

And as Skarsgård revealed in an interview with GamesRadar+, those moments acting alongside Butler were some of his favorites from his time on Dune: Part Two. He said: "I was excited to explore more of the Harkonnen world. Mostly I was excited to be dealing with Austin Butler as I had a lot of fun dealing with him. The Baron is now looking for a successor and Rabban [portrayed by Dave Bautista] doesn't quite fit the bill. It's a very small space I have to portray it in but when he sees Feyd-Rautha, he tests him, is impressed by him, and loves him. It was wonderful."

Austin Butler in Dune 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Skarsgård continued, being full of praise for his co-star and his dedication to bringing the baddie to life: "It makes you so happy to see someone who's got the courage to go all the way out like that. But he's also funny and he's making him delicious. He deliciously likes being evil and he enjoys his nasty adventures - it was great fun watching that. But also, he has a very interesting relationship, playing with the Baron. He’s not constantly challenging him but you feel that he’s going to stab you in the back whenever."

Of course, this isn't the first tease we've had about Butler's terrifying nemesis. In a previous interview with Total Film magazine, the actor himself said his character has a "psychotic nature but yet there’s something sort of seductive about him as well", a dangerous allure then that makes him a compelling on-screen presence. It's therefore no surprise that he has received much acclaim for his performance in initial reactions - just like Skarsgård, the critics are fans too!

Dune: Part Two releases in theaters worldwide on March 1. For more on the movie check out the rest of our coverage:

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.