‘Dune’: Possible Sequel With Zendaya’s ‘Chani’ as Lead Focus

Moviegoers and fans of the sci-fi genre are on the edge of their seats in anticipation of Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 Dune, based on Frank Hebert’s 1965 novel of the same name. Before the movie even debuts, there are already talks of a possible sequel focusing on the book character, Chani. Actor Zendaya is set to appear in the 2021 movie as the character alongside Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides.

Zendaya 'Dune' dressed in Fremen armor as Chani
Zendaya as Chani in ‘Dune’| via Warner Bros. Pictures

‘Dune’ is set to be an epic 2021 science fiction movie

Dune is another adaptation of the already cult classic science fiction movie of the same name from 1984 based on the novel by Frank Herbert. The story follows a gifted young man named Paul Atreides (Chalamet), the heir of an aristocratic family that rules the planet Caladan. He and his family accept stewardship of the desert planet, Arrakis, also known as Dune.

Arrakis is one of the most dangerous planets in the universe and highly valuable for its drug-like substance known as melange, or the “spice.” Melange extends human life, gives the user clairvoyance, and makes faster-than-light travel bearable. Overuse of the “spice” leads the user to have distinct cerulean blue eyes. Paul must venture into his great destiny as malevolent enemies seek to gain control over the spice mining operation. He soon meets the Fremen, native Arrakis living in the planet’s desert.

A sequel based on the book and movie character Chani

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According to Screen Rant, a Dune sequel was already promised as Villeneuve only agreed to work on the movie project if Warner Bros. agreed on a two-part movie adaptation. A needed sequel is because the 2021 Dune primarily focuses on the first half of the book’s storyline. Villeneuve also explains that Herbert’s book storylines are too complex and extensive for only one movie. Dune: Part 2 would shift focus on who will be the main character.

Instead of Chalamet’s Paul character, the sequel would instead center around Chani, played by Zendaya. In an interview with Italian magazine Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Villeneuve explains that he’s excited to work on Chani’s enhanced role and her protagonist story. The character of Chani plays a vital role in the books as she comes to aid Paul in his destiny.

Who is Chani?

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In the books, Chani is a fierce warrior, native tribeswoman, and Fremen of Arrakis. She is often recognized for her cerulean blue eyes due to the overuse of the “spice.” Chani is initially introduced as Paul starts having clairvoyant dreams of Chani. In the books, Zendaya’s character is the future concubine of Paul and the daughter of Imperial Planetologist Liet-Kynes.

The movie trailer shows Chani following a similar storyline to what occurs in the books when Paul is forced to flee to the desert. He meets the planet’s native Fremen, where Chani is entrusted to protect and guide him. It is assumed that the second movie installment will include Paul becoming the messiah and leader of the Fremen but through Zendaya’s character.