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Upcoming Dune movie gender swaps Liet Kynes
Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet Kynes. Photo by Chiabella James

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Upcoming Dune movie gender swaps Liet Kynes

Sharon Duncan-Brewster steps into the role of Imperial Planetologist.

New set photos from Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi novel, Dune, were revealed on Tuesday showing off members of House Atreides and several key members of the native Fremen.

Fans got a look at the iconic Fremem stillsuits, and for the first time saw photos of Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, and Jessica Fergusson in costume. The Atreides family can be seem in their military garb and the Fremen secured in stillsuits standing in the sands of their desert home.

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Included in the photographs is a big surprise that many longtime Dune fans probably didn’t see coming — Dr. Liet Kynes has been gender swapped to a woman and is played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One).

In Herbert’s novel Dr. Kynes, the Imperial Planetologist and head ecologist on Arrakis, was depicted as a white man. Kynes was the father of Chani, as well as the Judge of the Change on Arrakis, and the secret leader of the Fremen when House Atreides arrives on the planet.

In David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Dune, the late great Max Von Sydow played the character.

Upcoming Dune movie gender swaps Liet Kynes

Max Von Sydow as Liet Kynes in David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Dune

The next time we saw Liet Kynes depicted on screen was in the 2000 SyFy channel three part mini-series, in which Karel Dobrý played the character.

Upcoming Dune movie gender swaps Liet Kynes

Karel Dobrý as Liet Kynes in the SyFy channel 2000 mini-series adaptation of Dune

“What Denis had stated to me was there was a lack of female characters in his cast, and he had always been very feminist, pro-women, and wanted to write the role for a woman,” said Duncan-Brewster to Vanity Fair. “This human being manages to basically keep the peace amongst many people. Women are very good at that, so why can’t Kynes be a woman? Why shouldn’t Kynes be a woman?”

Upcoming Dune movie gender swaps Liet Kynes

Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet Kynes. Photo by Chiabella James

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