The star of Denis Villeneuve’s Spice Opera sequel reveals he was majorly inspired by Tom Cruise’s practical stunt work.
Unfortunately, Dune Part Two has been delayed to next year due to the strikes. Originally, the anticipated sci-fi epic sequel from Denis Villeneuve was slated for release next month. Now, Dune Part Two is scheduled for March 15, 2024. Another big film that had been delayed, but became a monster box office hit was Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick. Both films carried the quality of being highly anticipated sequels and aimed to capitalize on the IMAX format with their expanded scopes.
Top Gun: Maverick captured the attention and wonder of audiences and has been credited for “bringing back movie theaters” during this time when the businesses continue to struggle. One person who particularly found inspiration from that film was the star of Dune Part Two, Timothée Chalamet. According to IndieWire, Chalamet had gone to see the Tom Cruise blockbuster eight times during the production. In a profile in GQ, Chalamet said, “Top Gun was just hugely inspiring to me last summer when we were making Dune. Some of the crew were kind of scoffing at going, but I just thought it was one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.”
Chalamet credited Cruise for recommending stunt trainers as the first Dune featured motorcycle and helicopter coaches. “After I met Tom Cruise, right after finishing the first Dune, he sent me the most wonderfully inspiring email. He basically said, in Old Hollywood, you would be getting dance training and fight training, and nobody is going to hold you to that standard today. So it’s up to you. The email was really like a war cry.”
Villeneuve insists that the training paid off as he was impressed with the growth in Chalamet’s stunt prowess for Dune Part Two. The director also told GQ, “Action-wise, I felt that he was much more trained than in Part One, and ready for the fighting sequences. I was impressed by his level of discipline for Part Two. You know, when you are the lead on a movie, there’s a presence, the way you approach your work and your discipline will necessarily have a ripple effect on the rest of the crew. He was the first one on set, always ready. And I was super pleased and impressed with how Timothée really embraced that discipline and became, for me, a real leading actor on this film.”