In the Dune universe, the series’ first protagonist, Paul Atreides, is trained for combat by a deadly sword master named Duncan Idaho. When the highly anticipated Dune film adaptation is finally released next month, audiences will see the fan favorite portrayed by Jason Momoa, who will look to bring a rugged presence to the role.
The actor just shared a YouTube video that provides a look behind the scenes of the Dune shoot and his development of the character’s physicality and fighting style. “Duncan Idaho is a legendary warrior,” he says in the clip’s voiceover. “He’s the samurai. He’s the front line.” The video cuts to Momoa’s training with the production’s stunt team, learning swordplay and wrestling moves that will eventually make their way into a highly choreographed fight scene.
We get a look at training clips interspersed with actual footage from the film, watching how the practice movements wind up translating to the big screen. Then, Momoa shows the actual filming of one of his major battles. The run-up to the final filming is intense. “It’s been like three weeks of training,” he says. “Just a little nervous before the big fight. Don’t want to get hurt, don’t want to hurt anybody.”
According to the actor, he had to learn the choreography for one “massive fight,” which was broken into five different sections. He also had three other fights. “I’m just trying to find Duncan’s style, and trying to shake off Baba Voss’s style,” he says, referring to his character from AppleTV+’s See.
After the sequence is shot, Momoa walks around the set to check on all the stunt performers to make sure they made it through the filming unscathed.
To get into fighting shape, Momoa typically eschews the heavy lifting workouts most Hollywood stars use to bulk up. Instead, he opts for challenging outdoor activities that he enjoys doing to stay fit anyway.
“I found it better for myself to train for things that I love,” he told Men’s Health last year. “For instance, rock climbing has always helped me and inspired me. But for Dune, there was a lot of fight choreography, so generally I worked with my stunt team, learning to do different fights and a lot of cardio.”
From the looks of the behind the scenes footage, that prep work paid off. Check out Dune when it hits theaters and HBO Max on October 22 to get a look at the final version of all those fights.
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