Dune 2 stars became "absolutely fluent" in the Fremen's fictional language, says director Denis Villeneuve

Timothee Chalamet as Paul in Dune: Part Two
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Dune: Part Two director Denis Villeneuve says he made several of its stars go to "Fremen school" to familiarize them with the Arrakis natives' fictional language.

"I'm not joking," the filmmaker, who enlisted the help of linguist David J. Peterson, inventor of Game of Thrones' Dothraki lingo, explained in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. "They took weeks to learn the language and came on set absolutely fluent. There was even a dialect coach on set. Everybody took it so seriously, and I was so moved to see Timothée [Chalamet] give whole speeches in Chakobsa."

Released in 2021, Dune centers on Paul Atreides (Chalamet), the son of a powerful Duke, whose life gets turned upside down when his father Leto (Oscar Isaac) accepts a stewardship role on the hostile, desert planet of Arrakis. At the end of Part One, Paul and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), align themselves with the locals, otherwise known as the Fremen, in an attempt to free it from the unlawful, brutal Harkonnens and fulfil Leto's dream of bringing peace to the land.

Denis Villeneuve at a screening of Dune

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dune 2 is set to pick up where the original leaves off, with Paul, Jessica, and Chani (Zendaya) making a play for power against Christopher Walken's ruthless Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV as the former steps into his role as the Lissan Al-Gaib, the prophesied world saver. Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Rebecca Ferguson also feature.

"Those five days on set, speaking in a language that was conceived for the films, I was just savoring those days," Chalamet added. "I wanted to bring justice not just to the arc of Paul, but also to Dune. And I knew that those were the days. Even when we rehearsed that scene, we went all in."

"I remember coming to watch that day, and usually it's all lighthearted, like, 'Hey, what's up?'" said Zendaya. "But that day I was like, 'Oh no, he's serious right now.'"

Dune: Part Two releases on March 1. While we wait, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies heading our way.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.