‘Dune’: Who are the Atreides, the Harkonnen and the Fremen? Its protagonists explain it to us in scoop

Director Denis Villeneuve and the cast of the science fiction film that opens in theaters on Friday, September 17, give us the keys to the characters and their motivations

Intrigues, passions and above all betrayals, could sum up Dune, the story of Frank Herbert that the director and screenwriter Denis Villeneuve has magnificently adapted and will hit theaters next Friday, September 17, after it premiered at the Venice Film Festival. But before its premiere, its director and its protagonists explain to us in this scoop report who is who in the Arrakis universe.


They are one of the great houses of the empire. The prosperity of their planet, based on sustainable energies, and their nobility make them increasingly popular in the empire but that makes them new enemies. “The emperor is jealous of his growing popularity,” explains director Denis Villeneuve. “They are an example to follow for the rest of the galaxy, be they friend or foe,” explains actor Oscar Isaac, who plays Duke Leto Atreides. His son Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), is the heir, who has been trained in the nobility of his father, and in the powers of his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebeca Fergusson), a member of the Bene Gesserit order. Dune tells the story of the Atreides family and how they fall into the emperor’s trap “, concludes director Denis Villeneuve.


It is an order of very powerful women: able to control the minds of others, fighters … Lady Jessica is a representative of this order. She is the mother of Paul Atreides, and wife of Duke Leto. “They have enormous strength and power. They are warriors, bodyguards, they can read the minds of others. But Jessica has three open fronts, being a mother, a lover and a Bene Gesserit.”, explains Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Lady Jessica.


Two characters play the protectors of the family. They are something like the weapons masters of the heir Paul Atreides. It is about Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin) and Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa), who are his protectors, and they have a relationship as intense as if they were brothers. Jason Momoa explains: “My character is the gentleman responsible for protecting the family. It is his family. He would give his blood for them.”. In the case of Gurney Halleck, he is a combat trainer, a warrior: “He is very strict but also funny, visceral, paternal and maternal at the same time,” explains Villeneuve.

Review of ‘Dune’, by Alejandro G. Calvo


They are the villains par excellence. Ancient enemies of the Atreides are dark, ruthless, and traitors. “They have always been a dark and sadistic family in this galaxy,” says the director. Led by the powerful Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who is masterfully played by Stellan Skarsgård, who points out that the character and his presence are devastating: “As soon as his shadow appears, it looms over the entire film, he is responsible for the death of many people”, and it shows, according to the actor. Also his nephew, The Beast Rabban Harkonnen, played by Dave Bautista is terrifying: “He feeds on the fear of others. He is ruthless, sadistic,” says Bautista.


They are a kind of desert Tuaregs. They are the natives of Arrakis. “They live in the depths of the desert and know how to adapt to the harshest situations: scorching heat, sand storms, dangerous predators …” explains the director of Dune. Its leader is Stilgar (Javier Bardem), who says that his character is fascinating: “He is very powerful. He is a warrior but he is also apprehensive and worried about his future.“explains the Spanish actor, Javier Bardem, who spent several weeks in Abu Dhabi to shoot this film. Another of the key Fremen in the story is Chani, played by Zendaya, whom Paul Atreides constantly sees in his dreams as an old friend trying to guide you. “Chani is a native of Arrakis accustomed to hostility between her people and those who try to exploit her land, she is a warrior “, says Zendaya, who will also be in charge of closing this first part of the adaptation of Dune.