Concept designer Jerad S. Marantz shares a scrapped design for Stellan Skarsgård’s dune villain, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, wearing full body armor.
One of the original designs for the character of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen from Dune shows the character in several options for full body armor. Dune is adapted from the legendary 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert and is the first film of a planned science fiction epic about Paul Atreides, a young man from House Atreides. As House Atreides takes control of the deadly desert planet Arrakis, where spice, a drug needed for space travel, is extracted, a conspiracy is set in motion that will change the universe. The film opened in theaters and simultaneously on HBO Max on October 21 and Dune topped the box for two weekends until Eternal opened.
Baron Harkonnen is the villainous character played by Stellan Skarsgård. He uses a system of high-tech levitators to hang him in the air and help him move around. Although he does not play much of an active role in the events of the film, he will be a major player in the events of the film Klit 2. However, he pulls at the threads all the way through Dune, starting with an assassination attempt on Paul Atreides, after the emperor relocated House Harkonnen away from the profitable mines in Arrakis.
On his Instagram, concept designer Jerad S. Marantz posted two photos of potential designs to Baron Harkonnen. The character clearly underwent several iterations because Marantz previously shared another discarded Harkonnen design. This version of the character shows him encased in full body armor, one with a more variegated green color and one with a bold orange accent. Check out both posts below:
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The design that ended up being used in the film sees the villain baron Harkonnen wearing a tunic that is more in line with the costumes that other characters wear. However, the tunic has a central vertically patterned stripe reminiscent of the orange accent in the second armor design. This indicates that they have clearly transferred some of the original intention into the film itself.
It makes sense why Dune director Denis Villeneuve and costume designers Kurt and Bart went with the design they made. Part of the character’s threat is the fact that he is not protected by an armor. His body is extremely vulnerable and open to the world, but he is protected by the power he has over the people in his dominion, which is a much more subtly threatening and visually satisfying approach to character.
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Source: Jerad S. Marantz
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