Timothée Chalamet teases "cautionary tale" of Paul Atreides in Dune 2 and how it could continue in Part 3

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

Timothée Chalamet has teased the arc of his character Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two, saying it's a "cautionary tale" – which, hopefully, he can explore further if a third movie is made, based on the novel Dune Messiah.

"All of us should be so lucky, not like Paul who lives a hard life, but in our own lives to evolve and live many chapters but as the same person. So this is very much Paul Atreides, but not the boyish figure we saw at the beginning of the first one," Chalamet tells SFX magazine in the new issue, which features Dune 2 on the cover. "This is a young man stepping into his role amongst the Fremen people and then beyond that – stepping into a leadership role that he’s not necessarily keen on but called to and steps into."

In the first Dune movie, Paul is flung out of the world he knows when his father Leto (Oscar Isaac) is assigned to rule the planet Arrakis. When Leto is murdered and the former rulers, House Harkonnen, stage a coup, Paul and his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) take refuge with the native Fremen people. Paul experiences visions of a 'holy war' fought in his name – and rallies the Fremen to help him bring peace to Arrakis.

"This is a warning against religious fanaticism, and worship of leaders or charisma, like we see all too commonly in the world today. Because it’s tempting, and it’s an easy way out. This is very much a cautionary tale," Chalamet continues. 

"Which isn’t obvious because perhaps when you think sci-fi or you think popular story, we think of the obvious figures of hero and villain; you wouldn’t necessarily think there’s a central figure that’s something of a hero, but what’s called of him is villainous. I think this movie walks that line very, very carefully and closely, and if we’re lucky to do Messiah, a third one, I think we’ll explore it even more successfully. I think this movie would have to have a certain amount of success for that to happen. But we’d be very motivated to do one, to do Messiah."

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Dune: Part Two releases on March 1. The above is just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX magazine, which features Dune: Part Two on the cover and is available on newsstands from Wednesday, February 21. For even more from SFX, sign up to our newsletter, which delivers all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

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I'm the Editor of SFX, the world's number one sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – available digitally and in print every four weeks since 1995. I've been editing magazines, and writing for numerous publications since before the Time War. Obviously SFX is the best one. I knew being a geek would work out fine.