Hello there. Long story short, I have a message from the deep about particular part of DUNE story that can be revealed in next Villeneuve's films, and I want to suggest Julio Cesar Cedillo on role of Fedaykin Lieutenant Otheym. Because he’s such a badass and cutie, and the character fits him so well, and I’ve already made some illustrations based on Frank Herbert's books. And I’m going to tell the SPOILERS!!
You might have already seen Julio Cedillo as "final boss" in Denis Villeneuve's film Sicario (2015)
In DUNE(2021) were many fine actors from Villeneuve's previous films. And I can't stop thinking about how awesome it would be if my favorite actor took part in Part Two.
The feeling begin when I saw Duncan Idaho in the new film - I thought, yes, here can be seen Villeneuve was inspired by Master Yupa from Nausicaa, a wonderful plot structure! So pity that it works only on words. The Aguaman moves so repulsively, like he was a soulless zombie - Ghola from the beginning ... (this is the only critique for the film, everything else is brilliant)
I know who could play this knight really touching ... but if HE died at the very beginning (and the further events of the film were not devoted to how he is buried three times) I would just cry until the end of the film and even Shai-Hulud could not distract my attention.
Plus, remembering that Idaho is supposed to return as kinda Necris, with Julio it would be too much like helicopter pilot from The Walking Dead. So screw Idaho. All the fun is ahead.
For most of the film, I was completely in sync with Paul: while he was hallucinating with visions of Chani, I (without any psychoactive substances, but with similar mechanics) was thinking about big wild freman warrior who would arrive from afar on a giant sandworm and show a weird fighting technique based on distorting the very reality and will also reveal the cozy elements of the local lifestyle as well as the dreams of turning the part of Arrakis into green oasis.
I wondered if he was a particular character in the book, or I came up with him, recalling separate elements of the lore that fit to adapt for Julio. Because I read this a very long time ago, when I was so little, and everything managed to mix and blur.
Attempts to remember the future ... Funny?
After returning from the movie theater, I read the first book in a couple of days, and, having restored the missing fragments, was surprised how clearly Otheym met my expectations.
This character's presence is noted in the midst of the most expressive story episodes, but his role is clearly not for book storytelling, he does not speak alot, he does not have a separate descriptions for thoughts, because Otheym is above deceit... mostly... I know with Julio can be added funny improvised bluff to deceive the enemies during combat!
Otheym is more suitable for visual action and his short expressions can have tremendous depth when presented with proper tone of voice and modified ethnic accent, but Frank Herbert did not prescribe it too much, because Julio was not even born at that time to inspire.
So the books contain only key points about Otheym and remind a film script in these moments.
And here's the first illustration, painted in watercolor: incredibly expensive technique by measures of Dune setting! Usul can now count on support more powerful than whole army of sardaukars. I equipped Otheym with a long sword-tooth of a living worm, which, however, he most likely will not use in most cases: it seems more convenient for him to rip and tear with bare hands like Doomguy, using the surrounding surfaces and dismembered parts of the enemies. He can also use riding hooks on humans as a very brutal version of lasso, or in style of Kabal from MK on short distances.
The book mentions that he has a unique part of outfit - camouflage - without much detail in the description. In my vision it should be a hybrid technology of thermo-optical camouflage and super-cozy poncho with ethnic patterns....or maybe it's not termo-optical and Otheym is just a smartass who has a collection of super-cozy cloaks for all situations. – yes, this suggestion fits canon, since his wives are good weavers.
While doing this one i recalled the song Vingene Mine by Anja Garbarek. I tried to find the right song for each illustration, because this story longs for songs! Why Gurney hasn't played on his damn baliset in the film?!
This comic improvisation was made with Stephane Picq's soundtrack for the Dune quest from Cryo. I wanted to portray the Fedaykin sneaking, like a panther...
To break another Harkonnen's neck?
No, it's too easy… any fool can kill a man! I need to show a real mastery level. Not everyone has enough cunning and dexterity to catch a kangaroo mouse. It’s probably good that Paul didn’t get on duel with This One, otherwise the Atreides story would have ended pretty fast.
The scene of reunion with Gurney. Gurney is smiling... well, I think so.
I feel like I did the illustration for the song Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.
The "main" characters' talks would serve a good background.
Otheym went a little too far? Maybe This One turned out to be attentive enough and foresaw who should not be allowed into Cave of Birds.
Here is outlined a favorable way to present Otheym in the film in accordance with his role in the book, at first as an unnamed Elite Fedaykin, while his face is hidden by mask: he will stand out from the rest with a larger model and unique elements of outfit (should work with a similar principle as why models of story characters in WOW are usually 30% larger than players)
A very convenient moment regarding the adaptation of the character in the film is flexible timing: Otheym can be shown for just a few minutes like Boba Fett in Episode Five, or he can have a lead role in personal series, or even better to make him the protagonist of the game with whom you won't want to part even after a thousand hours. (the best is to make all things seriatim)
In any case, the viewer will pay attention to him, remember his voice, gait, posture, hands and other characteristic expressive details, Julio Cedillo has a huge arsenal of which. Thanks to bright cloaks, he can be immediately identified even in the thick of battle, or it will make a long time to find him, peering into the picturesque textures of the landscape. For some time he can create intrigue (or fanservice for those who are already acquainted with Julio ^_^) So at the moment when he first appears in the book as the character with name and face, he will in any case be greeted as well-known, in accordance with described Chani’s perception:
A great figure loomed out of the rocks above her, beckoning for speed. She quickened her pace. Dawn birds already were calling and lifting into the sky. A dim spread of light grew across the eastern horizon. The figure above was not one of her own escort. Otheym? she wondered, marking a familiarity of movement and manner. She came up to him, recognized in the growing light the broad, flat features of the Fedaykin lieutenant, his hood open and mouth filter loosely fastened the way one did sometimes when venturing out on the desert for only a moment."Hurry," he hissed, and led her down the secret crevasse into the hidden cave. "It will be light soon," he whispered as he held a doorseal open for her. "The Harkonnens have been making desperation patrols over some of this region. We dare not chance discovery now."
I’d add that This One has a special relationship with birds. I think he tamed them by sharing water from his stillsuit.
This composition was made with Peter Gabriel's San Jacinto, since the song describes similar ritual trial.
Jolly things can be done with this scene, for example naive viewers who haven't read the book can momentarily be made to think something like "Oh, he played bad guys in some good movies, how suspicious he is getting so much attention. What causes this sly expression on his face? Maybe he is the villain who poisoned Paul Muaddib?"
Spoiler: He’s a best friend till the end, who deserves a personal videogame spin-off in genre of something in between 'SW:Republic Commando' and 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead'.
Someone should've caught and drown a fresh little worm for Usul, as well as tell the disclaimers to reveal lore elements.
I think Otheym himself can drink "the water of life" to... "swap skillpoints".
The experience of all the previous Julio Cedillo's characters will be a huge advantage for survival on Arrakis: for example, cowboy skills will help masterly control Shai-Huluds, cartel bosses and cops will give a bonus to tricks and warn about the dangers of the spice trade, one of multiverse-ancestors even used Prana-Bindu to ignore energy shields with sniper rifle, and the Last Aztec Emperor can add thrilling beauty of storytelling in Magical Realism genre.
What? Did you think little Sand-Mouse-Shadow-In-The-Second-Moon is the only human male who can do that? Kwisatz Haderach is the pinnacle of human selection program. Which does not usually take the right course: think of leopard geckos with enigma syndrome and other victims of merciless inbreeding. Perhaps this is an even greater crime against nature than thinking machines. I want to show a character who personifies the opposite path: natural evolution and harmonious adaptation. To emphasize the importance of the "Secret Ingredient" without which is impossible to create any good Chosen One.
Does anyone remember the name of the big moon with five claws that rises first in the night?
Tleilaxu sunrise, ibad eyes
Realize we're all born to die
So get the melange naib!
The Weirding Way technique doesn't seem allowing fedaykin to move any faster, it rather makes slower all the Known Universe around the performer. Thus, fedaykin can easily ignore energy shields, or turn their effect against the inner subject to make picturesque fatality. It must seem really weird to an outside observer: the fremen commando teleports and sardaukar head explodes.
NIИ - The Perfect Drug - this song perfectly describes the last moments of poor sardaukar caught in death clutch. I think Otheym can paralyze his victims using The Charisma of Julio Cedillo: it's like The Voice of Bene Gesserit, only instead of unconsciousness it gives the subject unforgettable rapture.
Oh, I can imagine what a scandal will be if Otheym’s wives find out that this idiot did his stupid magic tricks again! Vibration of the energy shield resistance can cause multiple microtraumas that lead to arthritis.
Started the sketch with MGMT - Kids, and then imagined how it may sound in Mick Gordon's cover. Illustration, which was conceived as the most frivolous and comical in series, eventually turned out to be looking like the most brutal and surious.
I just wanted to make fun of film scene where Paul was drooling while watching the vision of upcoming battle... I don’t think that in real time it will be so glamorous and resembling the Power Rangers. Real sardaukars won't wait until the boy finishes dancing and posing. Otheym must show how to clean a pack in one move and methodically deal with the rest.
What the best Hunter of Arrakis is gonna do when he gets to other planets? He'll try out local fauna of course! I made this illustration as an example of what can be captured on photos that Paul has seen in Otheym's house while he still had eyes.
By the way, the fact (in book Dune Messiah) that Otheym has a photo gallery makes him even more akin to Julio Cedillo, since in addition to acting and screenplay editing; he is also a keen photographer who usually provides films with wonderful additional materials and cool stories.
I was making this illustration with Tim Larkin's soundtrack to Myst Age Todelmer, because the planet where Otheym caught his splitting disease (resembles the impact of metaphysical anomaly) was named somehow similar, that caused direct associations. Had to dry out my protagonist to Mordecai's condition to match mournful description of the last documented scene with him. I consider the image of emaciated Julio as a symbol of deepest sci-fi horror that cannot be fully revealed for human comprehension. Stoneburner seems rather a part of escape plan.
It feels like something like a whole Red Dead Redemption2 happened behind the scenes of the Base story. Even quite bigger, because Otheym's travel is interplanetary.
Is it necessary mentioning that Julio Cedillo has a mastery of playing sufferers?
I think this scene can be like 'Manos de Oro' on hardmode:
Despite his severe physical condition, Otheym still organizes stealth operations, and even Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe himself, immediately came to Otheym's unassuming suburban house at first call.
After Sicario I could imagine Dhuri only like Lora Martinez-Cunningham with Ibad eyes and load of water rings: extended sci-fi version of Faust Alarcon's wife. She understands the dangers of her husband's work and, even when he's obviously doomed, stays with him until the end. (Nothing like in the original Sicario script, that was used mostly to cut for memes. lol)
This is a good way to show through metafiction, without wasting time on words, the construction that Dhuri is not the first wife of Otheym, but looks very same, since they were sisters, and also look like her sister's daughter, but with eldering makeup and different dress. At first I thought to draw her more disheveled like raider lady from Book of Eli, but such hairstyle fitted Dhuri more in times when they lived happy in sietch with birds.
By the way, she lied. The tribe won't get a single drop of Otheym's water! BOOM! HAHAHAHAHA!!
And to make it even more entertaining for him to play the sufferer, I decided to introduce Walton Goggins as Bijaz! This is the one who can surreally play a key role in the most unpredictable circumstances! (The actor does not have to be a real dwarf, because i imagined how Tleilaxu created this psychedelic creature piece by piece, like replicants in Blade Runner.) By the way, Bijaz's special ability is literal immunity to prescience. Otheym, on the contrary, symbolizes constancy, and his every word sounds like the fulfillment of a heroic prophecy. These two have glorious character chemistry. Can you feel how many flashbacks flashed between Otheym's words "I bought him on a world..." and "...I forget"..? Of course, he panicked and said nonsense. There was no time to tell about their adventures to Usul. Maybe the «splitting disease» was caused, because the one who personified the Constant, fearlessly bended the course of events in his own will. The walking Nexus of events! Such motif can be easily demonstrated in game narrative with choices between multiple outcomes each of which would be equally relevant in context of the Base story, but bringing completely different moralities, emotions and interpretations.
These little cliff racers on taste like green bananas. And biologically they rather more fruits than animals. They are not mentioned in any Dune book because I invented them specifically for this version of Otheym and Lichna.
Seriously, Lichna is not going to die. The sequel book is intentionally abstract about this point. First of all, Otheym would never entrusted his daughter's life to this prescient addicted Emperor(of subjectively known universe) Muad'dib Atreides! The open desert with Shaihulud is much safer for young fremen lady than some royal palace swarming with conspiracies and constant murder attempts. And Tleilaxu rather prefer a fair bargain, than senseless violence. Scytale the Face Dancer seems very interesting creature; helping with the rehearsal of his play would be great activity for Lichna to distract herself and cope with semuta problem. And as for the unidentified body, obviously left on purpose to push on the Emperor's conscience: it can be anything, maybe some biomaterial left on the bottom of the acid vat.
Want to dismantle an empire? Trust This One!
I'm your sequel franchise spinoffed! AHAHAHAHA!!!
I have so many more ideas and sketches for illustrating Otheym’s adventures, but I had to show what’s ready for now, because the time when decisions are made feels close.
If you have any ideas how to share this dream to Villeneuve, it will be very much appreciated.