Thufir Hawat actor has "no regrets" about his scenes being cut out of Dune: Part Two

The mentat Thufir Hawat plays a pretty big role in the back half of Frank Herbert's book Dune, but was cut from the movie Dune: Part Two. Actor Stephen McKinley Henderson is at peace with it.
Dune - "The Emperor Has Spoken!" Scene (2021) Movie Clip
Dune - "The Emperor Has Spoken!" Scene (2021) Movie Clip / Clip Culture

Dune: Part Two is one of the best sci-fi movies to come out in a while. And if you don't believe, just consult iconic director Steven Spielberg, who recently appeared alongside Dune director Denis Villeneuve on The Director's Cut podcast to gush about how it's "one of the most brilliant science-fiction films I’ve ever seen.” If the guy behind Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones movies, Jurassic Park, The Color Purple, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan says it, what can we do but cosign?

Part of the reason Dune: Part Two worked so well is because Villeneuve was willing to make hard cuts from the source material: Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi novel Dune. There are quite a few changes made in the transition from book to screen. That includes cutting out a part for actor Stephen McKinley Henderson, who played the House Atreides mentat Thufir Hawat in Villeneuve's first Dune movie.

“I shot stuff for them and had a great time with Denis and Austin Butler,” Henderson told Entertainment Weekly. “I got to have a nice lunch with Christopher Walken. It was a great thing to be a part of, and I understand it comes with the territory. Denis had to do the film that he had to do. So I just love being a part of it. No regrets.”

In the book, Thufir Hawat survives the massacre of House Atreides in the first movie and is forced into the service of Atreides rivals the Harkonnens. He also plays a big role in the final dramatic showdown between Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and the emperor (Christopher Walken). But apparently he didn't fit into the final cut of Dune: Part Two. And you can forget about ever seeing those deleted scenes; Villeneuve is adement that if a scene is cut, that's the end of it. “You’ll never see it,” Henderson said.

“Denis told me months ago that he had to make that cut. It wasn't like I found out last week or anything,” Henderson continued. “But what I was thinking was, ‘Man, I got Civil War.’ Quite honestly, this was the one that I was most looking forward to.”

Civil War is a new movie about a dystopian future where the United States is at war with itself. That one opens on April 12.

Steven Spielberg breathlessly priases Dune: Part Two

Civil War is getting good marks, but it has its work cut out for it if it wants to surpass Dune: Part Two in terms of buzz and success. Will Steven Spielberg talk to Civil War director Alex Garland as rapturously as he did to Denis Villeneuve?

“It’s an honor for me to sit here and talk to you,” Spielberg told the Dune director. “Let me start by saying there are filmmakers who are the builders of worlds. It’s not a long list and we know who a lot of them are. Starting with [Georges] Méliès and Disney and Kubrick, George Lucas. Ray Harryhausen I include in that list. Fellini built his own worlds. Tim Burton. Obviously Wes Anderson, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Guillermo del Toro. The list goes on but it’s not that long of a list, and I deeply, fervently believe that you are one of its newest members.”

According to Variety, Villeneuve was "gobsmacked" to receive this kind of praise from quite possibly the world's greatest living movie director. And it's clear Spielberg had thought through his opinion on how awesome Dune is. “This is a desert-loving story, but for such a desert-loving film there is such a yearning for water in this movie,” he said. “For all the sand you have in this film, it’s really about water. The sacred waters that are yearning for green meadows and the blue water of life. You film the desert to resemble an ocean, a sea. The sandworms were like sea serpents. And that scene surfing the sandworms is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Ever! But you made the desert look like a liquid.”

Hopefully this only inspires Villeneuve to reach even higher when he inevitably returns to make Dune: Part Three.

Next. Dune. All 5 Dune movies and TV shows, ranked worst to best. dark

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