Dave Bautista is a global treasure. Whether you loved him in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, Blade Runner 2049, or recently, in Glass Onion, Baustisa is one of the most multi-talented actors working in big movies today. Proof of his incredible range can be found in Dune: Part One, in the role of the brutal Harkonnen enforcer, Glossu “Beast” Rabban. And according to Bautista, the intensity of the first Dune will only get bigger in Part Two. But, Baustisa also says the new movie will have moments of humor, too. Here’s what it all might mean.
Major spoilers for Dune, the 1965 book, and maybe the 2023 movie, Dune: Part Two.
How Dune: Part 2 will be different than Part 1
In an interview for Collider, here’s what Baustisa had to say about Dune: Part Two:
“This is so amped up from the first film. The first film was just an introduction to what this film is. There's just so much going on, it's so much more cutthroat and political and intense. And there are moments of levity where [there are] some funny moments, and they're kind of absurd humor, but there are those moments.”
What moments of “absurd humor” could Baustisa be alluding to? Maybe Paul riding the sandworm? Alia — a small child — killing the Baron? Anyone who has seen the David Lynch Dune knows that even in moments faithful to the book, there is an element of camp. In fairness, any campiness in Dune makes sense. Frank Herbert himself claimed aspects of the book were written in a style of “high camp.” So, if things get funny or uncomfortable, that sounds like Dune!
Rabban’s role in Dune: Part 2
That said, not everything in Part Two can be fun and games with sandworms. Because Dune: Part Two will adapt the rest of the first Frank Herbert Dune novel, it makes sense that we’ll see a lot more of Baustisa’s take on “Beast” Rabban. In Dune lore, Rabban is the older brother of Feyd-Rautha and the right-hand man of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. He gained his nickname “Beast,” because he killed his own father. (The Baron is his uncle.) Because the Harkonnen forces retake Arrakis by the end of Dune: Part One\, expect to see a lot more of Rabban in Dune: Part One.
In fact, it’s possible that Bautista’s character might do the most beastly thing of all in Part Two; kill a child. In the original Dune novel, Paul and Chani’s first son, Leto II (the elder) is murdered by a Sardaukar attack. But, in the 2000 miniseries Frank Herbert’s Dune, we see Rabban (László I. Kish) draw the knife that kills the young child. This fact has created a small Dune version of the Mandela Effect, in which some fans still incorrectly believe that the book states that Rabban was the one who did the horrible deed.
So will Rabban in Villeneuve’s Dune be even worse than he was in the book? Right now, László Kish’s Rabban holds the record as the evilest Rabban, while Paul L. Smith — from the 1984 movie — is probably the most over-the-top Rabban. Here’s hoping that by the end of Dune: Part Two, Dave Baustisa’s take on the Beast will be a little of both.
Dune: Part Two hits theaters on November 3, 2023.