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Casting: Javier Bardem eyes Dune, Idris Elba goes Deeper

By Jacob Oller
Javier Bardem

Two high-profile actors are circling genre projects in development, instantly ratcheting up the buzz on both.

First is the jam-packed Dune remake coming from Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve. According to Variety, the film — which only recently added stars like Oscar Isaac and Zendaya to its Timothee Chalamet, Dave Bautista, and Charlotte Rampling bona fides — has been in talks with Skyfall and Mother! actor Javier Bardem to play Stilgar.

Stilgar is the Fremen leader who shelters the renegade Paul Atreides on Arrakis and later becomes his general. The Frank Herbert adaptation has a script from Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth, and Jon Spaihts and is following in the footsteps of David Lynch’s 1984 film.

Next up, another story about a space traveler put in a precarious situation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, supernatural sci-fi film Deeper (about a former astronaut who turns to deep-sea diving) has cast Idris Elba as its lead.

Elba, known for his role in Luther, The Wire, the MCU, and Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, will journey deep into a trench populated with some really foreboding stuff, both natural and supernatural. Adrift director Baltasar Kormakur is helming from a script by Bright writer Max Landis. Since Kormakur’s specialty is survival films, expect Elba to face down a lot of soul-searching lonesomeness and environmental hazards. And since Landis’ specialty is ridiculous genre fare, expect some silly demons to be down there too.

The movie has been reconfiguring since 2016, when the script was purchased by MGM and has been cycling through stars and directors since. Now Elba has a chance to help it reach audiences.

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