With millions of people being exposed to the beauty and majesty of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel, “Dune,” thanks to the new film adaptation from director Denis Villeneuve, folks are learning about the characters that populate the world of Arrakis, including Duncan Idaho (and yes, people have thoughts about that name). And in the film, Idaho is brought to life courtesy of Jason Momoa, an actor that is just as surprised as many viewers to find out that he was hand-selected to be part of the sci-fi epic.
Speaking to IndieWire, Jason Momoa talked about the process of joining the cast for Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.” And some might be surprised to know that Momoa didn’t have to read for the role or audition in any way. He was hand-picked by the filmmaker for the role of warrior Duncan Idaho. None would be more surprised than Momoa himself, who thought that the news about Denis Villeneuve wanting to speak to him was nothing more than a silly prank.
“I got a call from my agent literally on top of a mountain, and I was shocked, and he was like, ‘Denis Villeneuve wants to talk to you right now,” Momoa explained. “I thought it was a prank. He said, ‘He wants to talk to you right now. He wants you for a role. He won’t tell anyone what it is.’”
He continued, “Me and my best friend, who loves Denis, ran down the mountain, into the room, FaceTimed him, and he had everything laid out. He had this whole department there in costume. Everyone was staring at me, and he had a whole book. It was this manifest. Pictures, everything. It was almost like he was pitching it to me, and I was taken aback. He asked if I would play Duncan. That’s never happened before.”
While Momoa is probably best known for his work as Aquaman in the DCEU, the actor is absolutely great in “Dune,” playing the strong, charismatic, badass Duncan Idaho. And in a film filled with massive stars like Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, and more, one would argue that Momoa is the breakout. Pretty smart casting from Villeneuve, of course.
“Dune” is available in theaters and on HBO Max now.