Austin Butler has teased that he'll be playing complex villain Fayd Lautha in Dune: Part 2, suggesting he knows the character pretty well.
Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi sequel just got even better with Austin Butler teasing he'll play complex villain Feder Lausar in Dune: Part II. Born in 1991, Butler began his career in children's television with shows such as Nickelodeon's Zoey 101 and Disney Channel's Hannah Montana before branching out into film. Butler is no stranger to complex roles, perhaps best known for playing Manson family member Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." and her critically acclaimed portrayal of the titular rock star in Baz Luhrmann's 2022 biopic, "Elvis Presley."
In the second part of Denis Villeneuve's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, Austin Butler plays Feder Lausa, a role originally played by singer Sting in David Lim Odd in the 1984 film adaptation. Feyd-Rautha is the favorite nephew of the evil baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) and brother of "The Beast" Rabban (Dave Bautista). Feyd-Rautha is Harkonnen's counterpart to Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) of Dune, Feyd is both heir to Baron Harkonnen and successor ruler of the planet Arrakis. Austin Butler looks determined to make the character a complex villain in the film adaptation.
Austin Butler's Complex Villain Tease Shows He's Getting Feyd-Rautha Right
in In an interview with Backstage, Butler said he will play Feyd-Rautha as "the hero of his story" because Butler believes Feyd is his own hero. In "Dune: Part Two," Butler didn't simply paint Feyd as the villainous villain Paul would have to overcome, but instead showed that he understood the complex nature of the character in Frank Herbert's 1965 original novel. As Butler said in the interview:
[T]he bad guy [...] doesn’t feel like he’s the bad guy. He feels like he’s the hero of his own story. And that can be a hard thing with certain characters; with others, it’s easier, but you have to not judge the character, and you have to find a way to feel the motivation towards anyone of your actions. So, we had a lot of conversations and crafted that together.
Why Feyd-Rautha Is So Important For Dune 2
Feyd-Rautha is a key figure in the larger Dune: Part II movie, as he competes with lead Paul Atreides. Feyd is not just Paul's opponent, but more importantly, he is Paul's mirror image. They are both heirs of the planet Arrakis, albeit from different families. Both are the product of centuries-long genetic manipulation by the mysterious Bene Gesserit to produce the Kwisatz Haderach. The two characters are just different in personality. Although Fayd calls himself a hero, in fact, he is just as cruel and power-hungry as his uncle.
Feyd-Rautha is important to Dune: Part II because he is Paul's dark reflection. He represents everything Paul could have been if he had given in to his darkest urges After the Harkonnens of Dune nearly destroyed his family. Herbert's original novel explored heroes and villains in a morally black-and-white universe, and Austin Butler's complex interpretation of Feder-Lausa in Dune: Part II seems to capture that perfectly.