Zendaya: Bold, Black & Beautiful in 'Dune: Part Two'

Get to know Zendaya's 'Dune: Part Two' character, Chani, and watch an exclusive clip from the upcoming movie!


“Dune: Part Two” is the second installment of the “DUNE" saga. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, the film is set thousands of years in the future. It picks up where the original “Dune” left off - following the mythic journey of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamat), a young man propelled by fate into an intergalactic power struggle. The son of the murdered ruler Duke Leto Atreides and mystical Bene Gesserit Lady Jessica, Paul was given the ultimate test in “Dune”: to conquer his fears when fate—and powerful unseen forces—pull him into the sands of the remote planet Arrakis.

Who is Zendaya’s character Chani? 

Zendaya stars as Chani in the upcoming epic sci-fi film and plays the “Wonka” star Timothée Chalamat's love interest. She stars alongside a star-studded ensemble cast, including Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Avengers: End Game,” “Milk”), Oscar nominee Austin Butler (“Elvis,” “Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood”), Oscar nominee Florence Pugh (“Black Widow,” “Little Women”), and Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Thor: Love and Thunder”).

What role does Zendaya play in “Dune: Part 2”?

Zendaya’s character Chani, plays a mysterious young Fremen woman who appears in Paul's (Chalamat) visions in the original film. Chani is a talented, powerful, and skilled warrior who ultimately helps turn Paul’s dreams into a reality. Though she understands Paul’s drive for vengeance, she is ultimately driven by a higher calling to defend her people and their way of life. With Paul now living among the Fremen, their relationship deepens into a profound love and mutual respect that helps guide Paul to a greater understanding of the people and the planet, a crucial part of his journey to becoming the leader he was born to be.

Zendaya Turns Up The Heat Double Time While Promoting ‘Dune 2’

What is the relationship between  Zendaya’s Character and Timothy? 

In the original film, Chani is suspicious but also curious about Paul, who comes from a world unknown to her. Chani comes to appreciate Paul’s sincerity, authenticity and genuine interest to learn about the Fremen ways. His respect for their culture inspires her to help him survive the harsh conditions of Arrakis. Each moment shared with him brings her closer to the realization that she might be falling for him.

How did Zendaya Connect to Chani?

“I was constantly in that battle with Chani between her mind and her heart, all the time. I think she’s a lot tougher than I am, by far—she would kick my ass!  She has such strength, which I admire, and such a passion for the betterment of her people, looking out for her people, taking care of her loved ones and her planet, which means more to her than anything. I love very hard as well, and I have a much easier job than she does because I’m not a space warrior, but I think in whatever I do, I try to do it with the best sense of heart and integrity.  Like Chani, I want to lead with what I feel is right, not just for myself but for the people around me.”

What does this Role mean to Women of Color in the Sci-fi Space?  How has this Character Impacted Women of Color in the Sci-fi space?

Zendaya is among a select group of Black women who’ve solidified themselves in science fiction roles throughout the years. Zendaya’s portrayal of Chani stands on the shoulders of well-known characters such as Aneka (“Black Panther”), Uhura (“Star Trek”), Sasha (“The Walking Dead”), and many more. Her stand-out performance in the first “Dune” (2021 film) landed her a feature in “Fortnite Battle Royale.”

How can viewers tune in to watch Zendaya starring in "Dune: Part Two"? 

Viewers can see “Dune: Part Two” in theaters nationwide on March 1, 2024. Audiences will get to view the film in IMAX 70mm following the success of the blockbuster hit “Oppenheimer.”

Take a look at an exclusive clip from the movie below!

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