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Who Is Feyd-Rautha In Dune 2? Austin Butler’s Villain Role & Book Changes Explained




by Xtreme HD IPTV

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Dune: Part Two!



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Summary

  • Feyd-Rautha’s inclusion in Dune: Part Two rectifies the previous film’s omission and showcases Villeneuve’s interesting viewpoint towards the character.
  • Dune 2 is expected to be more successful due to higher stakes and new characters, with a highlight in Austin Butler’s performance as Feyd-Rautha.
  • Austin Butler’s portrayal of Feyd-Rautha promises a more complex and compelling interpretation of the character, establishing him as a rising star.


The character of Feyd-Rautha might have been missing from Denis Villeneuve’s first Dune adaptation, but the antagonist plays a huge role in Dune: Part Two. His absence from the original movie was a huge talking point that had many audiences concerned about the accuracy of Villeneuve’s adaptation, but his appearance in Dune: Part Two rectified this decision and proved that the director had interesting plans for the character from the beginning. Austin Butler portrays the brutal Feyd-Rautha in his first mainstream movie role following the success of Elvis.

While 2021’s Dune turned out to be an adaptation of the first half of Frank Herbert’s timeless sci-fi novel, Dune: Part Two continues the story and leaves the door open for another chapter. Villeneuve has stated that he wants to expand the trilogy with Dune: Messiah, Herbert’s controversial follow-up novel. The higher stakes, new characters, and intense new phase of to Paul Atreides’ character arc has pushed Dune: Part Two‘s Rotten Tomatoes score well beyond its predecessor, and Feyd-Rautha plays a crucial role in the explosive sequel.



Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen Is A New Villain In Dune 2

The terrifying young warrior is the nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

Feyd-Rautha Hakonnen fights in the gladiator pit in Dune Part 2.

Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen is one of Dune 2’s new villains, chosen by his family to lead on Arrakis once they’ve taken control of the planet. The young Harkonnen is a fierce warrior who’s desperate to prove himself worthy of the family that he serves. In many ways, Feyd-Rautha serves as a parallel to Paul; they’re both facing immense pressure to preserve their family name, among the strongest fighters of their generation, and are desperate for power. Their rivalry and conflict is a highlight of the film, as Feyd-Rautha is the first real threat to Paul’s leadership that he’s forced to face.


In the novels, Feyd-Rautha is described as having dark hair and a sullen face, as opposed to the hairless, pale countenance of all the Harkonnens in the
Dune
movies.

As Feyd-Rautha’s journey doesn’t begin on Arrakis, it provides a prime opportunity to explore the Harkonnen home world of Giedi Prime. That’s something that was desperately missing from Dune, as Part One kept the audience from really immersing themselves in the large-scale conflict that’s happening in the Imperium. Feyd-Rautha is a perfect gateway into this, as his narrative intersects with the paths of characters such as Princess Irulan and Lady Fenring in the process.

Austin Butler Plays Feyd-Rautha In Dune 2

The young American actor has already earned an Oscar nomination.


In Dune: Part Two, the character of Feyd-Rautha is played by Austin Butler, a casting decision that took many Dune fans by surprise following the actor’s portrayal of Elvis Presley in 2022. The two roles could not be more different, and while Butler was undeniably great in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic (securing an Oscar nomination for the role), he’s never displayed the kind of ferocity and rage that are needed to make Feyd-Rautha such a compelling villain. However, judging by the movie’s early reviews, Butler completely disappears into the character, and his performance is a highlight of the movie.

Butler teased his portrayal of Feyd-Rautha as a more complex interpretation of the villain, which proves that he understands the character and knew exactly where he wanted to go with this performance. It’s no surprise that Villeneuve entrusted the actor with such an important role, as he clearly displayed his passion and interest in the project. His role as Feyd-Rautha adds an entirely new dimension to Butler’s filmography, but it might be the perfect move to ensure he’s able to continue the momentum from Elvis and establish himself as one of his generation’s biggest rising stars.


How Dune 2’s Feyd-Rautha Compares To The Books

Villeneuve and Butler add some depth to Feyd-Rautha’s motivations that were missing from the novels.

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune: Part Two

Frank Herbert’s novel Dune is often cited as the greatest sci-fi story ever written, but that doesn’t mean that every single aspect has aged perfectly. Some readers actually take issue with the character of Feyd-Rautha, as his motivations and intentions aren’t always clear. Sometimes it feels like he exists only to oppose Paul, rather than having actual emotions and thoughts of his own. This is something that Butler has already addressed by describing his portrayal as “more complex,” and Dune: Part Two provides much more room for Feyd-Rautha’s personal arc instead of focusing solely on Paul.

Dune: Part Two
focuses more on House Harkonnen, which speaks to Feyd-Rautha’s delayed introduction.


Austin Butler is held back somewhat in Dune 2, as Feyd-Rautha doesn’t show up until about halfway through the movie. It’s unclear exactly why Villeneuve made that creative decision, given that Feyd-Rautha appears earlier in the narrative of the novels, but it could be to maximize the impact of Butler’s threatening presence in his scenes. While the general arc of both Feyd-Rautha and Paul Atreides being prospects for the Bene Gesserit’s Kwisatz Hadarach still plays out the same as the novel, Dune: Part Two focuses more on House Harkonnen, which also speaks to Feyd-Rautha’s delayed introduction.

How Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha Differs From Sting’s

Sting’s portrayal is borderline campy, while Butler’s is much more intense.


It’s important to note that Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune isn’t the first version that’s been put on the silver screen. In 1984, popular surrealist filmmaker David Lynch made his own version of the story, although it wasn’t as critically adored as Villeneuve’s has proven to be. The 1984 adaptation actually cast the legendary musician and actor Sting in the role of Feyd-Rautha, but the result was something completely different from both Herbert’s novel and Butler’s take on the character. Sting’s performance was much more theatrical, often veering into the comedic, turning Feyd-Rautha from a terrifying villain into a more forgettable sidekick to Baron Harkonnen.

Dune 2 changes Feyd-Rautha significantly by giving him an entirely new appearance and making him a ferocious warrior once again. This previous iteration of the character is nothing close to Butler’s portrayal, as he is played as creepy and unsettling to complement his brutality. There was nothing particularly wrong with Sting’s take on the role, but it doesn’t fit with the tone that Villeneuve created. Thankfully, Butler’s character in Dune: Part Two is much scarier, more intense, and is a worthy adversary for Chalamet’s Paul Atreides.


Dune Part 2 Poster Showing Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Zendaya as Chani Holding Daggers

Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two is the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film that covers the novel’s events by Frank Herbert. The movie continues the quest of Paul Atreides on a journey of revenge against those who slew his family. With insight into the future, Atreides may be forced to choose between his one true love and the universe’s fate. 

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