Dune: Part Two, the upcoming sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 sci-fi epic based on the Frank Herbert novels, is releasing in just two weeks, but somehow the team behind it kept one major star’s involvement a total secret. During the February 15 world premiere in London, The Queen’s Gambit actor Anya Taylor-Joy appeared on the red carpet to confirm that she is, indeed, a member of the sequel’s cast. This came after an eagle-eyed Letterboxd user noticed that Dune: Part Two was listed under Taylor-Joy’s credits on the review aggregation app.

Variety confirmed that Taylor-Joy is a part of the cast, which includes Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha, and many more huge Hollywood stars. But, Variety refused to “spoil” who Taylor-Joy is playing, and it doesn’t appear that anyone else is willing to say who, either.

Except me. Dune novel spoilers below, but let’s be real, the book came out in 1965.

Anya Taylor-Joy is probably Alia Atreides in Dune: Part Two 

First, an attempt at a brief Dune synopsis. In the far future, an interstellar society is comprised of noble houses whose fiefdoms are entire planets. The Atreides family, led by Duke Leto (played by Oscar Isaac in Dune: Part One), is ordered to take a harsh desert planet known as Arrakis as its new fief. Though the planet is virtually inhospitable, it is the only source of the highly sought after resource known as “spice,” a psychedelic drug that is used in space navigation. But as soon as the Atreides family arrives on Arrakis, it’s clear that they’ve walked into a trap set by the rival House Harkonnen, who wants to wipe them out entirely.

Read More: The Dune Ornithopter Lego Set Is Almost Too Good To Be True

As seen in Dune: Part One, the Harkonnens’ plan results in Leto’s death, and forces Paul and his mother, Jessica, to flee into the desert. It’s there that they come into contact withe the Fremen, Arrakis’ native people who have learned how to thrive (not just survive) on the harsh planet. There’s a whole messianic thing that I can’t even begin to get into, but what’s important here in regards to Taylor-Joy is this: Jessica is pregnant, and submits to the “spice agony,” a ritual where she takes a deadly amount of spice. Because she’s with child, the baby is exposed to the spice in utero, and is born possessing all the knowledge of a fully grown adult.

Alia Atreides looks and sounds like a child, but is a full-blown Reverend Mother, the highest tier attainable amongst the Bene Gesserit (a matriarchal order that has religious and political power). In David Lynch’s Dune from 1984, Alia is played by a child actor, but I think (especially when seeing what Taylor-Joy wore to the premiere, and how it compares to what Alia wears in Lynch’s film) that Villeneuve has figured out a way to present Alia as an adult.

I await confirmation that I am correct.





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