‘Dune’ Director Denis Villeneuve Reveals The Character He Was Extremely Sad To Lose For ‘Part Two’

Dune: Part Two is a very, very long movie. And yet there are still key things missing from the book. Alia, Paul’s sister, is never born (though she’s visible as a fetus and, briefly, as a very famous star). Paul never teaches the Fremen the Weirding Way. A major character we won’t reveal is offed in a different fashion. And where’s Thufir Hawat, the Mentat played in the first by Stephen McKinley Henderson? Thufir is one of the survivors of the Harkonen assault on House Atreides, and yet he’s nowhere to be seen in Part Two. There’s a reason for his absence, says director/co-writer Denis Villeneuve.

“One of the most painful choices for me on this one was Thufir Hawat,” Villeneuve told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

The Mentats, for those who forgot, are basically human computers, because computers are outlawed in the distant future of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Remember, the original novels take place long after a war between humans and computers, who had enslaved the former after they gave them too much power. But that’s certainly not relevant to anything happening today.

Anyway, we live in an age when fans bristle at when any adaptation changes anything from the source. So kudos to Villeneuve for making some changes, and for acknowledging that you can’t keep everything.

“When you adapt, there’s always some kind of violence toward the original material,” Villeneuve said. “You have to change things, you have to bend, you have to make painful choices.”

There’s another major change from the Herberts, involving Zendaya’s Fremen warrior Chani. But that’s for another article.

Fun fact: Dune: Part Two runs some two hours and 45 minutes, covering the second half of the novel. But in the far battier David Lynch version from 1984, the same events are plowed through in under an hour. And yet Lynch still found room for Thufir, Alia’s birth, a lot of Weirding Way action, and a silly but cool death for one of that major character we mentioned.

(Via EW)