The most important change in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune that we learn about but is the casting of Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet-Kynes. In all present live-action variations of Dune, previous to the brand new movie, Liet-Kynes was performed by a person; Max von Sydow within the 1984 Dune and Karel Dobrý within the Sci-Fi Channel 2000 miniseries. However, now, Liet-Kynes can be a Black girl.
This variation is nice for lots of causes, with the obvious one being that an all-white Dune could be not solely problematic however boring as hell. However, the cool factor about Sharon Duncan-Brewster enjoying Liet-Kynes is that this casting additionally means she has a reference to one other character (and actor) within the forged that solely hardcore Dune heads have considered. Here is why Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet-Kynes is extra pivotal than you suppose, and which character she’s linked to within the novel. Spoilers forward for the novel Dune. Hypothesis follows.
The true id of Liet-Kynes is not the most important spoiler in Dune, and that is largely as a result of the novel telegraphs the twist a couple of mile away. When Home Atrides is tasked with taking management of Arrakis from the Harkonnens, they rapidly be taught that they should change into allies with the native Fremen who dwell within the deep desert of the planet.
Here is the most recent trailer for Dune, should you want a refresher.
The Fremen comply with a mysterious individual known as Liet, which, early within the ebook, Stilgar mentions is an individual who “serves two masters.” On the similar time, Duke Leto is meant to fulfill with an area Emperor-appointed ecologist named Dr. Kynes, somebody who’s accustomed to the Fremen, however who works as a liaison to the bigger authorities.
It is not a enormous revelation that Liet and Kynes are secretly the identical individual, and contemplating you already know the character is called Liet-Kynes, all I’ve actually performed right here is defined the hyphen. However, the “spoiler” is not what’s attention-grabbing about this character. Liet-Kynes is cool as a result of they exist politically, in two locations. One of many greatest themes of Dune is the concept that Paul should change into an uniter. Liet-Kynes is the one that greatest epitomizes the duality and variety of that potential unity.
However, the marginally larger spoiler right here is that within the ebook, Liet-Kynes is the daddy of Chani, the Fremen girl who Paul desires about earlier than he meets her. Within the 1984 Dune, Chani was performed by Sean Younger, however within the new film, she’ll be performed by Zendaya. As a result of Chani is definitely Chani Kynes, because of this Sharon Duncan-Brewster is enjoying Zendaya’s mother within the film, though this has not been explicitly said.
Now, it is doable that Liet-Kynes is not going to be the mum or dad of Chani on this adaptation, although that appears unlikely. Liet-Kynes is such an necessary character that a complete part within the Dune appendices (the primary appendix really!) is dedicated to the historical past of Liet-Kynes’ father, Pardot Kynes, who was the primary planetologist of Arrakis. The historical past of Pardot is necessary, too, as a result of they’re the character who places into movement the notion that Arrakis’ primary setting may very well be altered over time. After Pardot dies, Liet-Kynes takes over that work.
Liet-Kynes, in nearly each means, is probably the most pivotal character in Dune. They impression change on a big, political scale, but in addition on a smaller, private scale by being the mom of the heroic Chani. This additionally signifies that Liet-Kynes is the eventual grandparent of Chani and Paul’s son, Leto II. If the primary Dune film results in sequels, which means we’ll finally see Leto II as a grown man, after which, because the entity often called the God-Emperor of Dune. With out Liet-Kynes, none of it could occur. Sharon Duncan-Brewster is not enjoying a random character that was simple to recast as a Black individual and a lady. This character creates the Dune story with highly effective actions. If we’re simply at the start of a brand new Dune sequence, the impression of Duncan-Brewster as Liet-Kynes will seemingly be a lot larger than you count on.
Dune involves theaters December 18, 2020.