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Dune 2's Denis Villeneuve addresses Florence Pugh's small role

florence pugh as princess irulan, dune part two
Dune 2 director talks Florence Pugh's small roleWarner Bros.

Dune: Part Two spoilers follow.

Dune: Part Two director Denis Villeneuve has discussed Florence Pugh's role as Princess Irulan.

Daughter of Shaddam IV, Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe (played by the legendary Christopher Walken), the stylishly-costumed Irulan spends much of this sci-fi sequel on the fringes of the action and away from the planet Arrakis, only to finish up as the wife-to-be of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet).

In an interview with Moviefone, Villeneuve explained his intentions behind Pugh's casting, who also recently starred in Oppenheimer.

florence pugh as princess irulan, dune part two
Warner Bros.

Related: Dune 3 gets a promising update following Part Two's success

"Of course I knew Florence from her work and I'm a big fan of Florence. I thought of her first for it and when I met her, it was clear, after a few minutes of our meeting that I was in front of Princess Irulan," began the filmmaker.

"I wanted to create a character that will have inner strength and that will never be perceived as a victim. I wanted an actress that could convey only with the way she's listening. I wanted someone with a strong presence that the audience could see just in the way she was witnessing events or listening to other characters, that they feel her presence on her own journey, but she's more of a witness in this story."

Villeneuve proceeded to compare his use of Zendaya throughout the two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel with that of the Little Women star.

denis villeneuve wearing a black suit
Greg Doherty - Getty Images

Related: Dune: Part Two sets new records with huge box office debut

"Of course, if there's a Dune Messiah as we plan, [Irulan will] become one of the prominent characters of that whole series. I'm doing a bit of what I did with Zendaya in the first movie," he said.

"I introduced Chani in Dune and then she becomes one of the main characters in Part Two. I do the same with Florence, I just introduced her in Part Two and if there's a Dune Messiah, she becomes one of the main characters."

Judging by Part Two's early box office performance, Messiah is inevitable.

Dune: Part Two is in cinemas now.

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