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Why Stilgar From Dune Looks So Familiar

Science fiction fans everywhere are no doubt rejoicing this weekend as part one of Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" is finally debuting in theaters and on HBO Max. An adaptation of Frank Herbert's beloved book, this film is a long-awaited adaptation that follows in the footsteps of David Lynch's "Dune" from the 1980s. The updated adaptation has assembled a massive cast, including notable actors like Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and Jason Momoa, to take on the most iconic characters of "Dune."

One such character who stands out among the rest is Stilgar, a leader of one of the tribes of the desert planet Arrakis. If he looks familiar, that's because he is portrayed by Spanish actor Javier Bardem. Bardem is an established Hollywood icon at this point who has numerous standout IMDb credits to his name, including many key roles in films that moviegoers have definitely seen over the years.

He ordered the hits in Collateral

Though Javier Bardem's career dates back several decades, one of his earliest prominent roles that American audiences might recognize him from is his performance as Felix in Michael Mann's "Collateral." Released in 2004, the neo-noir thriller sees an LA cab driver named Max (Jamie Foxx) taken hostage by an assassin named Vincent (Tom Cruise) who has arrived in Los Angeles to kill a series of witnesses who are set to take the stand in a massive court case. The one ordering the hit? Bardem's Felix, who is at the center of the conspiracy.

"Collateral" largely centers on the dynamic between Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, and as such, Bardem does not have a lot of screen time in the movie. That being said, "Collateral" is a film full of small yet great performances by character actors such as Bruce McGill, Barry Shabaka Henley, and Bardem himself. His character Felix largely serves as the catalyst for Jamie Foxx's Max to step up and attempt to take control of the situation, which sets the film's climax in motion.

He was an unstoppable killer in No Country For Old Men

One could make a valid argument that "No Country For Old Men" is the best movie The Coen Brothers have made so far, with many pointing to Javier Bardem's performance of Anton Chigurh as the key to the film's success. A mysterious assassin armed with a shotgun and a cattle gun, Chigurh is dispatched to hunt down Llewyn Moss (Josh Brolin) and recover the money the Texas cowboy discovered while hunting in the desert. As portrayed by Bardem, Chigurh is ruthless, deadly, and his exit from the film is one of the most memorable in movie history, resulting in a Best Supporting Actor win at the 2007 Academy Awards.

While Bardem already had an impressive resume leading up to the debut of "No Country For Old Men," it's this performance that arguably made him a star. Anton Chigurh is regularly held up as one of the best cinematic villains of this century, and much of the strength of the character lies in the performance given by the Spanish actor. As is sometimes the case in Hollywood, he's one of those characters who wasn't necessarily supposed to pop, but ultimately made a massive impression on audiences.

He portrayed a dying man in Biutiful

Javier Bardem has been nominated for multiple Oscars throughout his career. Though "No Country For Old Men" is his only win to date, his most recent nomination was for his work in the 2010 film "Biutiful" under the direction of "The Revenant" director Alejandro González Iñárritu. In "Biutiful," Bardem portrays a criminal named Uxbal who finds himself forced to get his affairs in order when he is diagnosed with cancer and learns that he only has a few months to live. Largely anchored by Bardem's performance, the film is a tour de force following a man struggling to accept the end of his life and his place in the world.

"Biutiful" earned much critical acclaim upon its theatrical debut in 2010. As such, it was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Foreign Language Film (Mexico) and Best Actor (Bardem). With most critics specifically hailing Bardem's performance as one of the movie's main strengths, "Biutiful" continues to stand out as one of the actor's best performances to date.

He went head to head against James Bond in Skyfall

The Daniel Craig era of the James Bond franchise has ushered in an assortment of memorable (albeit far more realistic and grounded than ever before) villains. Arguably the most traditionally animated and cartoonish of the bunch was Raoul Silva in 2012's "Skyfall," a role Javier Bardem dug into with obvious glee. A former MI6 agent and skilled hacker, Silva utilizes his technical prowess to commit acts of terrorism across the globe on a quest to get revenge against M (Dame Judi Dench), who he blames for abandoning him following his capture during an operation years earlier.

Silva stands out among the Craig era of Bond villains for a number of reasons. For starters, he is a clear mirror image of Bond in his background as an MI6 agent and his relationship to M. Additionally, he holds the distinction as the Bond villain to kill M — a flashpoint moment for Craig's arc as Bond, and what led the series to shift the mantle of M from Judi Dench to Ralph Fiennes. Put all of that together, and Silva was even ranked by Collider as the #2 best Bond villain of all time, coming in second to the imposing Jaws from the Roger Moore era.

He played a cursed sailor in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Like the Bond franchise, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series has long been touted for its unique and outlandish villains. Javier Bardem continued that tradition in 2017 when he took on the role of Captain Salazar in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." A cursed sailor from the Spanish Navy, Salazar is portrayed as a vehemently anti-pirate crusader on a quest for revenge against Jack Sparrow – the man who killed him and turned him into a ghostly being.

Despite Bardem giving his all in the film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" proved somewhat unsuccessful with general audiences. According to Box Office Mojo, the fifth installment in the franchise has the lowest lifetime box office gross of any "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie to date. As such, the franchise is now due for a reboot that seems to be moving away from the established canon and not be a sequel to anything we have seen before. With that in mind, a return for Bardem seems unlikely.