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The Weird Connection Tying Fatboy Slim, Christopher Walken, and ‘Dune’ Together Is not why Walken got His Role

May 2022: Christopher Walken joins the cast of the epic sci-fi movie Dune: Part Two, and fan reaction leans toward the positive end of the spectrum. Flashback to 2000, and Walken danced his way through the video for the Fatboy Slim song Weapon of Choice. And back in 2022, many fans reacting to Walken’s casting claimed it fulfilled Fatboy Slim’s prophecy based on the lyrics of the song. The weird connection between Dune, Walken, and Fatboy Slim is cute and interesting, but it’s not why Walken landed the part.

In the novel Dune, author Frank Herbert details the plans within plans within plans. The Fatboy Slim-Walken-Dune tie isn’t part of some grand plan, and director Denis Villeneuve isn’t fulfilling a prophecy.

Walken joining Dune: Part Two is just the latest bit of casting news as Villeneuve preps for the second installment. Florence Pugh (Princess Irulan) and Austin Butler (Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen) joined the roster before Walken.

Walken, Pugh, and Butler are the Dune newcomers. Many of the primary actors from Part One return for the sequel. Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jessica Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem reprise their roles. One part left to cast is Paul’s sister Alia, who plays a crucial role in the plot.

However, none of the actors have the weird Dune connection that Walken does, and we have Fatboy Slim to thank for that.

Walken danced around a seemingly-empty hotel in the video for the Fatboy Slim hit Weapon of Choice. His mesmerizing performance distracted from softly-spoken lyric that was nearly lost beneath the slinky bass and layered beats about halfway through:

“Walk without rhythm/it won’t attract the worm

Walk without rhythm/and it won’t attract the worm

Walk without rhythm/and it won’t attract the worm

If you walk without rhythm /huh, you never learn.”

Anyone who read the book or watched any versions of Dune on the screen (the 1984 David Lynch movie, TV miniseries, or Villeneuve’s version) understands the lyrics reference how the desert-dwelling Fremen of Arrakis walk across the sand so as not to attract the mammoth and menacing sandworms. It’s a very direct reference to Dune.

The early part of the song also features the lyrics “Don’t be shocked/by the tone of my voice/Check out my new weapon/weapon of choice,” which is another possible reference to the Dune universe. 

Dune fans on Reddit quickly made the connection. “It is absolutely amazing that it has come full circle for that. Who would’ve thought that Fatboy Slim could have been a part of this connection,” one user wrote, with the another replying, “Who knew Fatboy Slim was preparing him to be Emperor of the known universe.”

The Fatboy Slim-Walken-Dune connection adds a layer of mystique to the 2023 sequel and seems eerily prescient, more than a coincidence, but that’s all it is. Walken didn’t win his role as Emperor Shaddam because of a decades-old music video.

Dune: Part One wowed audiences, performed well at the box office, and became Villeneuve’s highest grossing movie to date. And it was years in the making.

The Canadian director spent more than a year designing the iconic sandworms, which are just one small part of the movie. Villeneuve has a deep love of the source material, and he approached the first installment with Part Two in mind, purposely leaving the emperor and another crucial character out of Part One.

Villeneuve identifies so closely with the material that he once said he felt total peace while creating Dune: Part One. He wrote the scripts, produced, and directed both installments, so he has a large say in casting. The director is bringing his vision to life. Villeneuve wouldn’t cast Walken in such an important role if the Severance actor didn’t have the chops to back it up. If Villeneuve even knows about the Fatboy Slim song and knows the lyrics, it’s safe to say it’s not influencing his decision-making on one of the most important projects of his career.

The odd connection between Fatboy Slim, Christopher Walken, and the Dune franchise is definitely intriguing. It makes for a fun bit of movie trivia. But it’s not why Walken will sit in a golden throne room as the emperor of the known universe.

RELATED: ‘Dune Part 2’: Denis Villeneuve Plans to Shift Perspective in the ‘More Challenging’ Sequel 



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