Spider-Man actress Zendaya shared a new look at her upcoming character in the Dune film, Chani.
Zendaya posted the photo on Instagram simply captioning it “Dune.”
The image is one of a few that really let us see what the Fremen will look like in their stillsuits as well as the blue within blue eyes of the Fremen people and others who have consumed large quantities of spice.
The film previously released a separate image of Zendaya’s Chani through Vanity Fair that also shows the blue within blue eyes.
And we also got a look at Sharon Duncan Brewster’s gender and race swapped Liet Kynes.
Zendaya’s image shared to Instagram is the best look at the blue within blue eyes.
From these photos it definitely looks like director Denis Villeneuve is going for a much more subtle approach to the blue eyes compared to David Lynch’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s book in 1984.
In that film the blue within blue eyes instantly draw your attention and are the most noticeable feature of the Fremen people and those who have consumed large quantities of spice.
Chani’s Character Arc in Dune
As for Zendaya’s role as Chani in the film, a source tells Bounding Into Comics she will mainly be shown in visions that Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides has of her.
In fact, Paul won’t even know her name until much later in the film when the two come face to face after Paul and his mother Jessica seek refuge among the Fremen people.
Their first interaction will see Chani questioning Paul’s greatness and telling him he looks like any boy.
Their relationship will eventually deepen with Chani giving Paul advice after he his challenged to a duel to the death by a Fremen who rejects Lady Jessica’s leadership.
Before this duel, Paul relays to Chani the numerous visions he’s had of her. Those visions include “a thousand futures” that involve Chani killing him, a few where they lose each other, but in many where they fall in love. Not only does he detail these visions, but he reveals his fear of death.
This revelation brings the two even closer together.
Following the duel and a ritual undertaken by Lady Jessica, Paul partakes in the Water of Life where he is bombarded with visions of the future that involve war.
In between these visions, he comes to and finds himself in the process of making love to Chani. As their lovemaking comes to an end, Chani will lean close to Paul. This image will be the first one he saw of her in his dreams from so long ago.
Chani’s role in the first film will be limited as it will primarily be focused on the transition of House Atreides to the planet Arrakis, their fall at the hands of House Harkonnen, and Paul and Jessica’s escape into the wilds of the planet.
Director Denis Villeneuve confirmed a second film will follow the first one. He told Vanity Fair, “I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie.”
He added, “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”
Chani’s Role in Frank Herbert’s Dune
Chani will more than likely play a much larger role in the second film.
In Frank Herbert’s book she trains under Paul and Jessica in the Bene Gesserit martial arts and becomes an even deadlier warrior than she already was. She is key in bringing Paul out of his deep spice trance that he goes into in order to enhance his powers.
She also gives birth to a child named Leto, but he is murdered as an infant during a Corrino raid.
Chani does not technically become Paul’s wife rather she becomes his concubine. Paul marries Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV’s daughter Princess Irulan. However, Paul explains to Chani that the marriage is purely political.
“That woman over there will be my wife and you but a concubine because this is a political thing and we must weld peace out of this moment, enlist the Great Houses of the Landsraad. We must obey the forms. Yet that princess shall have no more of me than my name. No child of mine nor touch nor softness of glance, nor instant of desire.”
In Dune Messiah, Chani dies giving birth to twins in Ghanima and Leto II.
What do you make of Zendaya as Chani? What about her story arc for the film?