The new take on Frank Herbert’s epic novel seems to do justice to the work, unlike the 1984 version that the producers butchered, forcing even director David Lynch to distance himself from the work. Now, Dune features most characters from the original novel, but one of them, a very important one at that, is missing – Feyd-Rautha.
Feyd-Rautha is not in the Dune movie because Villeneuve intends to adapt the first Dune book into two parts, meaning that the character will make his debut in the second movie, if the studio greenlights it. Villeneuve is already working on a script for the sequel, so we can be hopeful of seeing the character.
Knowing this, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the character’s appearance in the new adaptation of Dune. You’re going to find out more details about his absence, as well as when he is expected to appear. We’re also going to talk about the character’s appearance in the 1984 movie.
Why Is Feyd-Rautha Not in Dune?
If you’ve read Herbert’s 1965 Dune, or if you’ve just seen Lynch’s 1984 adaptation, you’ll know that Feyd-Rautha is a very important character in that story, which is why people have been wondering whether he is in Villeneuve’s Dune movie, as the promotional materials haven’t really mentioned him at all. But, before we answer, let us see who Feyd-Rautha is.
Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen is the youngest nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who has chosen him as Na-Baron, this is as his successor in House Harkonnen and the final step for Harkonnen domination over the Empire.
Baron Harkonnen has chosen Feyd-Rautha as his successor, despising his elder nephew Glossu Rabban, known as “The Beast” for his cruel and sadistic character, not serving the purposes of reaching out for the intrigue and treachery that a Harkonnen sits on the throne of the Empire of a Million Planets.
Baron Harkonnen, after agreeing to serve as a front for Emperor Shaddam IV’s plans to destroy the Atreides, planned to seal his alliance with Feyd Rautha’s marriage to Princess Irulan Corrino, his eldest daughter.
To promote the power of the Na-Baron, Feyd-Rautha is placed in command of Arrakis, after a tyrannical and unpopular period of his older brother Glossu Raban, making him appear as the savior of the Fremen, which will be obstructed by the appearance of Muad’Dib.
Feyd-Rautha was born in Lankiveil as the second son of Abulurd Harkonnen and his wife Emmi, his father’s hope to regain the lost honor of the Harkonen House name, and a relief to his noble parents in comparison to the brutality of his first son Glossu Rabban.
Feyd got his name from his maternal grandfather Rautha Rabban. It was the product of a genetic program developed hundreds of generations ago by the Bene Gesserit, to produce the long-awaited Kwisatz Haderach, whose father would be when he joined a projected Atreides heiress, plans that are frustrated by Lady Jessica who, defying the Brotherhood, does not conceive a daughter with Duke Leto but a boy: Paul Atreides.
In this way, both heirs of Houses Harkonnen and Atreides, respectively, are representative of the bitter and irreconcilable opposition and hatred between their Houses.
Thus the Bene Gesserit, knowing the risk that they will destroy thousands of years of genetic engineering in case of if one or both young men are killed, sends one of his disciples, Lady Margot Fenring, to seduce Feyd and conceive his son, saving this genetic line for unknown new plans of the Brotherhood.
Finally, as his rival Atreides ascended to the throne, the two young men clashed on Arrakis, ending with the death of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen at the hands of the now Emperor Paul Muad’Dib.
So, such an important character will certainly appear in the movie, right? Well, if you thought that – you’re wrong. Why? Well, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is a two-part film, or – it was intended as one. Namely, the studio hasn’t greenlit a sequel yet, but all cast and crew members are hopeful so why shouldn’t we be?
Seeing how 2021’s Dune is only the first part, the whole cast of Herbert’s Dune is set to appear, but at a later date, i.e., in the second movie. This is when we’ll see Feyd-Rautha, since he is an inevitable part of the Dune lore.
Will Feyd-Rautha Be in the Sequel of Dune?
When asked about his decision to split the first book into two movies, Denis Villeneuve said the following:
“There were certainly broad-stroke decisions that were made, just to find the most dynamic way to tell the story. We had to shovel some things into Part Two for the mental sanity of everybody.”– Denis Villeneuve
The decision was made before the COVID-19 pandemic so we’ll have to wait and see how it all ends up, but the studio had big plans for this movie before the pandemic, which explains the decision to split the first book into two movies.
“The book is so rich. There are so many fantastic details about the different cultures. In order to preserve and have the time to bring that to screen, we had to make important choices.”– Denis Villeneuve
This decision meant that some characters and events won’t be in the first movie and Feyd-Rautha, whose importance for the Baron’s plot is immeasurable, was one of the characters that got cut from the first movie. This, though, means that we will certainly see him in the sequel, as there is no way to properly tell the story without including Feyd-Rautha.
As for the sequel’s status, Denis Villeneuve said the following:
“I’m writing [Part Two] now, and I feel like I’m eight years old again. That’s very uncommon for me. It’s the first time I’ve experienced it where I’m watching one of my movies, and I have a moment of deep gratitude, of deep joy, and I say, ‘Thank you, life, for having allowed me to bring that to the screen.’ I don’t know how other people will feel about it. But me? Denis Villeneuve when he was 14 years old? Thank you.”– Denis Villeneuve
The movie is set to hit HBO Max soon, and as far as we know now, the studio plans on giving Villeneuve his sequel if the movie performs well on the streaming service, regardless of the box office revenue in the theaters around the world.
This came as a reassurance after Villeneuve recently criticized Warner Bros. for their decision to stream the movie on the same date as the American premiere:
“Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of Dune‘s scope and scale. Warner Bros.’ decision means Dune won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph. Warner Bros. might just have killed the Dune franchise. This one is for the fans. AT&T’s John Stankey said that the streaming horse left the barn. In truth, the horse left the barn for the slaughterhouse. I strongly believe the future of cinema will be on the big screen, no matter what any Wall Street dilettante says. Since the dawn of time, humans have deeply needed communal storytelling experiences. Cinema on the big screen is more than a business, it is an art form that brings people together, celebrating humanity, enhancing our empathy for one another – it’s one of the very last artistic, in-person collective experiences we share as human beings.”– Denis Villeneuve
As it stands, Dune is a true passion project and he is deeply involved with it, which is why we hope that we’ll see the sequel very soon. Also, the cast of the movie is so great and the initial reviews are likewise great, which gives us hope that we’ll see a sequel soon, as well as Feyd-Rautha, who was a scene-stealer in the original movie.
So far, this is all the information we have from the director himself and the various news reports that have come out in recent months.