Austin Butler, who plays Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two, promises a sophisticated antagonist in the follow-up. Butler is one of a select group of newbies to the Dune: Part Two ensemble. He is most known for his roles as Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and as the King of Rock and Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic Elvis. Butler portrays Feyd-Rautha, the designated heir on Arrakis and the nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, in the second act of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel.
Butler reveals the villain’s complexity in a recent interview with Backstage, stating that he “feels like he’s the hero of his own narrative” as he discusses his preparation for playing the part of Feyd-Rautha. The Dune: Part Two actor also talks about creating the role alongside Villeneuve. Check out Butler’s remarks below:
It’s that thing of the bad guy in the world doesn’t feel like he’s the bad guy. He feels like he’s the hero of his own story. And that can be a hard thing with certain characters; with others, it’s easier, but you have to not judge the character, and you have to find a way to feel the motivation towards anyone of your actions. So, we had a lot of conversations and crafted that together.
What to anticipate from Austin Butler’s performance at Feyd-Rautha
In the same interview, Butler also talks about how he trained for four months with Navy SEALs as part of his physical preparation for the part of Feyd-Rautha. Sting also played Feyd-Rautha in David Lynch’s 1984 production of Dune. Butler tries to differentiate himself with his portrayal in order to avoid being compared to The Police leader given that Lynch’s version was a colossal critical and commercial flop and Villeneuve’s has garnered such positive reviews from audiences and reviewers.
Since the antagonist famously squares up against Paul Atreides during a climactic knife battle, Feyd-physique Rautha’s will be crucial. Feyd-Rautha is portrayed in both Herbert’s novel and Lynch’s movie as more of a terrible antagonist with few redeeming qualities. Butler’s remarks suggest that Villeneuve wanted to develop a more nuanced version of the Dune antagonist with more heroic impulses that viewers may relate to. Butler’s portrayal of Feyd-Rautha should get similar praise to his role as Elvis, for which he was most recently nominated for a Golden Globe and is currently generating significant Oscar buzz.
Several additional well-known performers have joined the Dune: Part Two ensemble in addition to Butler as Feyd-Rautha, including Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, and Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot. Early in December, Villeneuve’s sequel’s filming ended, which means the first look at some of the new characters, including Butler’s Feyd-Rautha, may be forthcoming. One of the most eagerly awaited films of the year, Dune: Part Two has a late 2023 release date. Audiences will undoubtedly get familiar with Butler’s Feyd-Rautha because Warner Bros. will likely actively advertise it throughout 2023.