Actor Jason Momoa has played a lot of badasses in his career, from Conan the Barbarian, to Khal Drogo, to Aquaman. In Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Dune, Momoa plays Duncan Idaho, a swordmaster in the service of House Atreides. The character engages in many combat scenes in the film, and Momoa has revealed his fight sequences in Dune are unlike any other he has done before:
“I’ve never worked with a director on this scale. Denis is a cinematic genius, and generally all the action stuff that I’ve done has been nowhere, even remotely close to Denis. Just watching some of the moves that I would do, and going behind the camera and seeing Greig’s eye, with Denis, I’ve never seen something so beautiful in a fight scene. Generally the things that I do don’t look that good. So thank you, Denis.”
The world of Dune, based on the seminal 1965 sci-fi classic novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert, has a long and detailed history behind each aspect of the intergalactic society contained in the story, including combat. The movie will see characters using something called The Holtzman Shield, which is a type of technology that deflects fast-moving projectiles, making guns and arrows useless in combat.
Instead, fighters have to make use of blades and other close-range weaponry to penetrate the shield. Villeneuve has previously explained what this highly specific type of combat looks like onscreen:
“I developed with our stunt coordinator and choreographers a way of combat that is closer to a chess game than a fighting sequence. When you fight someone with a shield, the idea is to distract them with moves in advance. You want to distract them with a specific move so you can slowly bring the blade into their body. It’s a totally different way of fighting. It’s a way of fighting that is very fast. It’s like a chess game, you have to plan in advance and distract the adversary. It’s a very specific, new art form of combat.”
Villeneuve’s description coupled with Momoa’s enthusiasm makes it clear the action scenes in Dune are going to be unlike anything that audiences have seen before, and the character of Duncan Idaho will be another memorable badass character to add to Momoa’s burgeoning action filmography.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve based a script he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, Legendary Pictures’ Dune features a lead cast of Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh, Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Dr. Liet Kynes, Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Dave Bautista Glossu Rabban, David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Stephen Henderson as Thufir Hawat, and Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck. The film is expected to arrive in theaters Dec. 18.