His status in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be a little up in the air considering his reaction to Disney firing the man who wrote & directed his franchise, and his friend, James Gunn. But Dave Bautista’s future in sci-fi cinema looks safe.
News broke yesterday (Jan. 7) that Bautista would be reuniting with his Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve for an adaptation of the classic science fiction novel Dune. There’s been no official word on Dave’s role, but PWInsider says he’s set to play Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the primary antagonist of the first of Frank Hebert’s series of novels*.
If true, it’s interesting casting, as the head of House Harkonnen is a hedonistic slob who needs anti-gravity tech to move around due to his weight.
Insider also says shooting is preliminarly set to start in March, which could have ramifications for Bautista’s long-dreamed of retirement feud with Triple H. WWE set an angle up between the two men at last fall’s SmackDown 1000 show. The Game then suffered a pectoral tear at Crown Jewel, but rumors were mixed on whether or not there was a chance he could be back in time for WrestleMania 35.
But if The Animal is booked for a main role in an effects heavy motion picture epic, it might not matter whether Haitch is healed up by April.
As with most things these days, the plan is to start a Dune franchise with the film. Baron Harkonnen’s largest role is in the first novel being adapted now, so this could be one and done for Bautista. But you never know with Hollywood. If it’s a big enough hit to merit prequels and sequels, Dave’s stock will rise whether there’s more work for in this cinematic universe or not.
He who controls the spice controls the universe. And right now, Big Dave controls the spice.
* UPDATE: Sources better known for movie news than Insider such as The Hollywood Reporter have Bautista playing Count Glossu “Beast” Rabban Harkonnen, the Baron’s eldest nephew and not someone whose obesity requires an anti-gravity suit for mobility. The more brutal, less cunning of two potential Harkonnen heirs is a smaller role, but probably more in Big Dave’s wheelhouse.