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Casting: Josh Brolin heads to Dune, Octavia Spencer joins The Witches, more

By Jacob Oller
Josh Brolin

Two big-name remakes recently landed big-name stars to support their heroes (or villains, as the case may be), and fans now have new faces to debate over page-to-screen adaptation.

First, the almost Avengers-level cast of director Denis Villeneuve’s Dunehas added an actor familiar to Marvel fans. Thanos portrayer Josh Brolin is joining Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, and more for the latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi novel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Chalamet is playing the noble Paul Atreides, while Brolin will be his Warmaster, Gurney Halleck — a role previously played by Patrick Stewart in David Lynch’s version of the story. A weapons instructor and musician, Halleck is both a teacher and mentor to the hero who becomes embroiled in the political drama on the planet Arrakis.

Dune begins shooting this spring.

Next, The Witches bolsters its Anne Hathaway-led cast with the addition of the Oscar-winning and horror-pivoting Octavia Spencer. According to Variety, the actress is joining director Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of the Roald Dahl book (and remake of the 1990 film) as the grandmother of the hero, played by Jahzir Bruno.

While being the protagonist's grandma isn't typically a part the actress has gone for before, this isn't your average grandma. In the book, the grandmother accompanies the boy throughout his adventure, as she knows all the lore behind the witches. Since Zemeckis’ version is said to be more faithful to the book than the first film, Spencer will likely have plenty of screen time.

Finally, a SYFY pilot has nailed down some of its starring cast. (Future) Cult Classic, a future-set slasher-obsessed teen comedy has set Emily Alyn Lind in its leading role as Bree, according to Deadline. The show, which brings a Scream-esque, "horror-obsessed killer" vibe to TV, follows final girl Bree along with classmates Andy (Jacob McCarthy), Henry (Cayden Boyd), Peyton (Da'Vinchi), and Mila (Zoe Renee) as they figure out the mystery and try to survive.

Tim Kirkby is executive-producing and directing the pilot.