Dune 2 director Denis Villeneuve is "very proud" of Timothée Chalamet's transformative performance in the sci-fi sequel

Timothée Chalamet in Dune 2
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Actor Timothée Chalamet has been having an incredible few months. Firstly Wonka has been a huge hit at the box office, becoming the eighth highest grossing movie of 2023. And now his performance in upcoming sci-fi sequel Dune: Part Two has been getting rave reviews, including from our very own Total Film verdict which states that "Chalamet blossoms in tandem with Paul, showing previously untapped reserves of command".

In the much anticipated follow-up to director Denis Villeneuve's 2021 epic, Chalamet returns as protagonist Paul Atreides, this time seeking revenge against the House of Harkonnen for destroying his family. And of course, there's also the small matter that many believe that he's the messiah, fulfilling a prophecy that will lead to a terrible future that only Paul can predict.

The actor was therefore faced with a tough challenge bringing Paul's journey to life – as anyone who has read author Frank Herbert's beloved novel will know, the character goes on a remarkable journey (no spoilers here). But Chalamet more than delivers, giving a transformative performance that Dune 2 first reactions are saying may just be his best yet.

Someone who couldn't be happier with Chalamet's accomplishments here is none other than Villeneuve himself, who gives off proud dad energy when talking about his star. Speaking to GamesRadar+, the filmmaker was full of praise for the actor's portrayal of Paul, also explaining why Chalamet came to the sequel as a "different actor" compared to Part One. 

He said: "I was very moved and proud of Timothée, watching him embrace Paul's journey, that was like pure joy. He came onto Part Two being a different actor than on Part One. I felt he was less vulnerable, more grounded, more assured. Of course, when he did Part One he was much younger and it was his first time on a movie of that size, so he had to find his bearings, try to find his boundaries, try to protect his focus. He was learning a lot. In Part Two, he came in with much more experience and we were very excited about what was in front of us with Paul's journey, Timothée was looking forward to imploding or exploding in front of the camera. I'm very proud."

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.