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WIRE Buzz: Dune filming officially begins, Farscape heads to Amazon, more

By Benjamin Bullard
Dune director Denis Villeneuve

Like an approaching sandstorm, we’ve all seen it coming from miles away — and now it’s official: Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has at last begun filming on his ambitious, talent-loaded production of Dune

Legendary Entertainment confirmed to SYFY WIRE that production on the new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sweeping sci-fi classic has just gotten underway, as fresh news also came across of yet another potential addition to the movie’s already huge, and stellar, cast.

Via The Hollywood Reporter, Chang Chen — best known as Lo (aka Dark Cloud), the swashbuckling desert vandal in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — is in talks to join the Dune cast as Atreides family ally Dr. Yueh.

If he ends up joining the Dune cast, Chen will arrive to an A-list party that already includes lead actor Timothée Chalamet (Call me by your Name) as Paul Atreides. Behind Chalamet is a lengthy lineup of names you know well: Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible), Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War), Stellan Skarsgard (Thor), Charlotte Rampling (Red Sparrow), Javier Bardem (Skyfall), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: Episode IX), and Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home). 

Following in the star-crossed footsteps of David Lynch’s tepidly-received 1984 film, which nevertheless retains a loyal cult following, Villeneuve’s Dune comes from a screenplay based on Herbert’s iconic 1965 novel, adapted for the new movie by Villeneuve, Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts. 

Dune is expected to sweep into theaters on Nov. 20 of next year.

Resurrected from death with a new divine implant and a mystical mission to hunt down demons: Netflix’s upcoming Warrior Nun is leaping out of the manga pages and onto the small screen with fresh details on its edgy female protagonist, as well as a handful of new cast additions.

Via Deadline, Netflix has cast Alba Baptista as Ava, the titular “warrior nun” of destiny who learns upon waking to her new life that she’s part of a mysterious ancient group; one engaged in an ongoing, centuries-old battle against demonic forces here on Earth. 

An orphan who’s getting her first taste of true freedom just as she learns of her new powers, Ava reportedly will grapple to restrain her newfound ambition while carrying out the mission of her secretive religious order. Joining her are cast newcomers Toya Turner, Thekla Reuten, Lorena Andrea, Emilio Sakraya, Tristan Ulloa, and Kristina Tonteri-Young, according to the report.

First announced late last year, the new live action series is taking its inspiration from Ben Dunn’s Warrior Nun Areala manga comics, and focuses on a 19 year-old woman who gets a second chance at life after waking up in a morgue — with a strange and powerful divine artifact implanted in her back. There’s still no premiere date set for Warrior Nun, so we’re keeping a vigil until Netflix drops its next update.

Finally, we’re going all the way from Dune to Farscape — Jim Henson’s Farscape, that is. The Jim Henson Company has announced its groundbreaking sci-fi series will soon be heading to Amazon Prime, bringing all four seasons of the HD-remastered cult classic into the binge-watching era.

The saga of displaced astronaut John Crichton, Farscape follows Crichton’s space race against the deadly Peacekeepers — pursuers who’ll stop at nothing to thwart his return to Earth following a botched mission that sends him light years from home and stranded among a bewildering new mixture of alien species and cultures.

First released from 1999-2003, all 88 episodes of Farscape will be available at Amazon beginning March 19.