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Dune 2 actor says they’re ‘heartbroken’ after being cut from finished film

A Hollywood star has revealed they are “heartbroken” after being cut from Dune: Part 2.

The acclaimed new film from Denis Villeneuve has been released, after months of delay due to the SAG-AFTRA strikes, but one actor who might have expected to see themselves on the screen has been left disappointed.

Villeneuve, whose films include Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, was forced to cut the lengthy Frank Herbert adaptation down, and scenes involving a character played by Tim Blake Nelson fell by the wayside.

Similarly, Stephen McKinley Henderson, who starred in the first Dune as Thufir Hawat, also didn’t make the final edit in Dune 2 – a decision Villeneuve told Entertainment Weekly was the “most painful choice”.

But Nelson’s omission has left the actor feeling “heartbroken”. It seems as if his scenes will never see the light of day as no director’s cut of the film is planned, with the filmmaker telling Collider: “I’m a strong believer that when it’s not in the movie, it’s dead. I kill darlings, and it’s painful for me.”

Nelson, whose credits include O Brother, Where Are Thou?, The Incredible Hulk and TV series Watchmen, told MovieWeb: “I don’t think I’m at liberty to say what the scene was. I’d leave that to Denis, if he wants to talk about it. I had a great time over there shooting it. And then he had to cut it because he thought the movie was too long.”

He added: “I am heartbroken over that, but there’s no hard feelings. I loved it, and I can’t wait to do something else with him and we certainly plan to do that.”

Speaking about the brutal editing process, Villeneuve told EW: “When you adapt, there’s always some kind of violence toward the original material. You have to change things, you have to bend, you have to make painful choices.”

The film has become a box office hit, almost matching what Oppenheimer made in its first weekend in IMAX sales.

Oppenheimer, which is expected to win Best Picture at the Oscars this weekend, went on to become the second-biggest film of 2023.

Tim Blake Nelson is ‘heartbroken to have been cut from ‘Dune: Part 2’ (Getty Images)
Tim Blake Nelson is ‘heartbroken to have been cut from ‘Dune: Part 2’ (Getty Images)

Dune: Part 2 is in cinemas now