Why Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha Is Black & White In Dune 2
5 mins read

Why Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha Is Black & White In Dune 2

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Dune: Part Two!




  • Austin Butler shines as Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two’s black-and-white sequences, adding depth to the villain’s character.
  • Villeneuve’s bold choice to split the Dune novel into two parts allows for the inclusion of key characters like Feyd-Rautha.
  • The black-and-white scenes on Giedi Prime set a stark contrast to Arrakis, showcasing the brutal culture of the Harkonnens.

The introduction of Austin Butler in Dune: Part Two as the villainous Feyd-Rautha is presented in a stunning black-and-white sequence. Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s influential sci-fi novel brings the text to life with a visually stunning style. The black-and-white sequence is one of the most striking from the sequel while also proving to be a perfect way of establishing Butler’s Feyd-Rautha as a key new character in the story.

Villeneuve wisely split Herbert’s first Dune novel into two parts to properly tell the massive story. In doing so, some key characters from the novel were missing from the first movie but are brought into the fold as part of the Dune 2 cast. Such is the case with Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha who is one of the most memorable characters from the novel. While the gladiator battle that introduces him is taken from the source material, Villeneuve adds to its impact with the black-and-white approach.

Dune: Part Two
is now playing in theaters.

Giedi Prime’s Black & White Homeworld Is Due To The Planet’s Black Sun

The Scenes Standout From The Movie’s Main Setting On Arrakis

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha locking blades with an opponent in Dune: Part Two.

…a visual touch added by Villeneuve to completely differentiate Giedi Prime from Arrakis

Feyd-Rautha is the nephew of Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) and was previously played by Sting in the Lynch version. Dune: Part Two takes a real departure from Feyd-Rautha’s look from both Herbert’s novel and Lynch’s movie, giving him a more monstrous appearance that’s in line with the shaven look of both the Baron and Dave Bautista’s Glossu Rabban. One of the most striking things about Butler’s first scenes in Dune: Part Two is that they take place in stark black and white, which serves as the movie’s distinct look for Giedi Prime, the Harkonnen homeworld.

These black-and-white sequences show Butler’s Feyd-Rautha fighting in gladiator games on Giedi Prime, for the entertainment of his uncle and the other assembled nobility. The black-and-white appearance of the planet is a visual touch added by Villeneuve to differentiate Giedi Prime from the desert planet of Arrakis. While it is a bold creative choice, it perfectly captures how different ecosystems on different planets in the Dune ecosystems shape the factions and groups living in them.


Who Is Feyd-Rautha In Dune 2? Austin Butler’s Villain Role & Book Changes Explained

Feyd-Rautha plays a huge role in Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’, but he was missing from Villeneuve’s cinematic adaptation. What’s his role in the sequel?

How The Black Sun Affected Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha & The Harkonnen Planet

Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha and his planet literally and metaphorically reflect the black sun

As explained by Dune 2 director Denis Villeneuve, the original Frank Herbert book does not reveal much about Giedi Prime but establishes that the planet is devoid of nature. To capture the “plastic world” of the Harkonnen planet and portray how the sunlight from its black sun gives insight into the psyche of Giedi Prime’s people, Villeneuve came up with the idea of capturing Feyd-Rautha early scenes in black and white. The result perfectly conveys the intended meaning and, as Villeneuve had wanted, captures the political system and “primitive brutalist culture” on the planet.

Dune: Part Two‘s cinematographer, Greig Fraser, decided to use an infrared palette to depict the black-and-white scenes. While using infrared meant that they would never be able to go back to colorizing the scenes from the planet, the risk paid off incredibly well since the black-and-white overlay in Feyd-Rautha’s introductory moments encapsulates his viciousness and the bleak world that shaped his beliefs. It not only explains why Geidi Prime’s inhabitants always dress in dull shades of black and white in Dune: Part Two but also hints at how the lack of sunlight has turned them and their planet cold and brutal.

Dune Part 2 Poster Showing Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Zendaya as Chani Holding Daggers

Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two is the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film that covers the novel’s events by Frank Herbert. The movie continues the quest of Paul Atreides on a journey of revenge against those who slew his family. With insight into the future, Atreides may be forced to choose between his one true love and the universe’s fate. 

Release Date
March 1, 2024

Legendary Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

$122 Million

key release date

  • Dune Part 2 Poster Showing Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Zendaya as Chani Holding Daggers

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