Zendaya had a much smaller part than expected in 'Dune,' but may be featured more in the sequel.

Dune's Director Hinted Zendaya Will Have A Bigger Role In The Sequel

Fans were not happy with her tiny cameo in the first movie.

Warner Bros. Pictures

If you were anywhere near the internet or a TV in the months leading up to Dune’s long-awaited premiere on Oct. 22, then you probably assumed Zendaya would play a major part in the space epic. After all, she was heavily promoting the film in a high-profile press tour alongside Timothée Chalamet. But unfortunately, Zendaya stans were left high and drier than an Arrakis desert after discovering the actor has barely any lines in the movie at all, and only appears onscreen for a few measly moments. There’s still hope, though. Now that the sequel is confirmed, director Denis Villeneuve teased Dune Part 2 may feature more Zendaya.

Spoiler alert: This post contains light spoilers about Dune. Zendaya plays the role of Chani in Dune, a Fremen woman who helps guide Paul Atreides (Chalamet) after he lands on Arrakis. Though Zendaya was prominently featured in the film’s marketing campaign and promotional interviews, Chani is actually absent for nearly all of Dune. The character mainly appears only in Paul’s visions, where she silently looks over her shoulder at him and mysteriously walks around the desert. She does finally appear in person in the final moments of the film, introducing herself to Paul and helping him in his fight against one of her fellow Fremen, before welcoming Paul and his mother Jessica into her tribe. But that scene was just a few minutes at the end of a two-and-a-half-hour movie. In total, fans calculated Zendaya only appeared on screen for seven minutes of the movie, and for much that, she was silent.

Obviously, the Zendaya fans were pretty disappointed.

The second movie might turn it all around for Zendaya stans, though. Villeneuve told The LA Times in an Oct. 22 interview that he purposely wanted the first Dune movie to focus on Paul’s story, and that the follow-up film will explore the rest of the characters much more. “There are some characters that are less developed that I'm keeping for the second film — that's the way I found the equilibrium,” Villeneuve said. “We tried in this movie to stay as close as possible to Paul's experience. Then, in the second one, I will have time to develop some characters that were left aside a little bit. That's the theory. I hope it will work.”

Dune co-writer Eric Roth was more specific about Chani playing a larger role in Dune Part 2. “A lot of [the sequel] will be concerned with the Fremen and what their political strategies are. You’ll get into the relationship with Paul and Chani,” he said.

So, look out for more Zendaya when Dune Part 2 premieres in October 2023.