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Javier Bardem’s One ‘Dune 2’ Wish Is to ‘Ride a Sandworm’: Denis Villeneuve Wants to ‘Make That Happen’

A chance to ride the strange desert-dwelling beasts in Villeneuve's upcoming sequel is all Bardem is asking for.

DUNE, from left: director Denis Villeneuve, Javier Bardem, on-set, 2020. ph: Chiabella James / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Denis Villeneuve directing Javier Bardem on the “Dune” set

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Javier Bardem had a good day thanks to his Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Male Lead for his turn as Desi Arnaz in “Being the Ricardos.” The actor was seen elsewhere last year on the planet Arrakis in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” as Fremen tribe leader Stilgar. While his screen time was limited in the first film, he’ll definitely play a significant role in the greenlit sequel, “Dune: Part Two,” which is now in pre-production. Following today’s SAG Award nominations announcement, Bardem hopped on the phone with Deadline and revealed his one wish for the upcoming film.

“The only thing I’m asking is that I get to ride a sandworm,” he said, laughing. “Denis told me he’s going to try to make that happen.”

Indeed, in Frank Herbert’s source novel, Stilgar is described as riding one of the enormous desert-dwelling beasts that travels beneath the sand.

“That does happen in the book, by the way. Stilgar teaches Paul [Atreides] how to take the desert power, which is to domesticate those huge animals in order to use their force, their strength, and their huge size against the Harkonnen. Hopefully, that will happen,” Bardem said.

As for early activity on the sequel, Bardem said he’s still in the dark as to where the adaptation is headed.

“I haven’t read anything yet, so I’m not sure what’s coming up next for me in ‘Dune.’ I know as much as you do at this point. I hear there are scripts but I haven’t read anything,” the “No Country for Old Men” Oscar winner said. “I cannot wait to put myself into the hands of Denis Villeneuve again. I love the guy.”

Bardem has a busy slate at the moment. In addition to doing awards season chores for “Being the Ricardos,” he has Rob Marshall’s live-action “The Little Mermaid,” in which he plays King Triton, coming up. That movie is set for a May 26, 2023, release. He also stars in the live-action musical comedy “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,” based on the book by Bernard Waber.

IndieWire recently sat down with Bardem to discuss his roles in Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos” and “Dune.” He said that when Warner Bros. gave the greenlight to shoot the sequel in 2022, the first person to reach out to him was his co-star, Josh Brolin, who texted: “See you in Jordan, motherfucker!”

“I can’t wait to work with Josh,” Bardem said. “I can’t wait to work with Denis, he’s a master, so enthusiastic when shooting, like a little kid making a dream of his.”

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