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‘Dune: Part Two’ Actor Tim Blake Nelson “Heartbroken” After Being Cut From Film & Denis Villeneuve Talks “Painful Choices” Trimming Movie Down

Denis Villeneuve is talking about the “painful choices” he has had to make for Dune: Part Two while adapting the book and cutting the film. Meanwhile, actor Tim Blake Nelson is expressing he’s “heartbroken” after he learned he was edited out of the film’s final cut that premiered to $182.5M worldwide.

The film Dune is based on the 1965 science fiction novel of the same name created by Frank Herbert. In adapting the book to the big screen, the filmmaker told EW, “When you adapt, there’s always some kind of violence toward the original material. You have to change things, you have to bend, you have to make painful choices.”

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Some of those choices for the sequel included eliminating Stephen McKinley Henderson’s character. Henderson played Paul Atreides’ (Timothée Chalamet) mentor Thufir Haway who survives the massacre of House Atreides by House Harkonnen and continues to play a role in the book series.

“One of the most painful choices for me on this one was Thufir Hawat,” Villeneuve said. “He’s a character I absolutely love, but I decided right at the beginning that I was making a Bene Gesserit adaptation. That meant that Mentats are not as present as they should be, but it’s the nature of the adaptation.”

Henderson’s Thufir Haway was not written into the film sequel but Tim Blake Nelson joined the cast in an undisclosed role for the followup, but never appeared in the almost three hour movie.

“I don’t think I’m at liberty to say what the scene was,” Nelson told MovieWeb. “I’d leave that to Denis, if he wants to talk about it. I had a great time over there shooting it. And then he had to cut it because he thought the movie was too long.”

Nelson continued, “I am heartbroken over that, but there’s no hard feelings. I loved it, and I can’t wait to do something else with him and we certainly plan to do that.”

With scenes being left on the cutting room floor, some fans were hopeful that the deleted scenes would eventually make their way into a Blu-ray or digital release. However, Villeneuve told Collider, “I’m a strong believer that when it’s not in the movie, it’s dead. I kill darlings, and it’s painful for me.”

“Sometimes I remove shots and I say, ‘I cannot believe I’m cutting this out.’ I feel like a samurai opening my gut,” he added. “It’s painful, so I cannot go back after that and create a Frankenstein and try to reanimate things that I killed. It’s too painful. When it’s dead, it’s dead, and it’s dead for a reason. But yes, it is a painful project, but it is my job. The movie prevails. I’m very, I think, severe in the editing room. I’m not thinking about my ego, I’m thinking about the movie.”

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