Denis Villeneuve Tried to Write a Classic French-Canadian Swear Word into 'Dune: Part Two'

Josh Brolin's voice was too American to say "Tabarnak" properly

Photo: Niko Tavernise

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Mar 4, 2024

Denis Villeneuve recently told Exclaim! that he hopes to return to making French-Canadian indie films in the distant future. In the meantime though, it seems he's content with bringing his background to the set of blockbusters like Dune: Part Two in the form of Quebecois swear words. 

The filmmaker, who was born in Gentilly, QC, told Buzzfeed Canada that he tried to work the classic Quebecois curse "Tabarnak" into the Dune: Part Two script, but to no avail.

"I was convinced that if I was to put the word 'Tabarnak' in one of the movies, it will please the people from Montreal," he recalled. "But, I asked Josh Brolin to use the word at one point and it didn't work out. It doesn't live well in the mouth of an American, so I'm sorry I failed." 

Since Brolin's Gurney Halleck is a pretty serious character in a wholly serious film, it's hard to picture him saying "Tabarnak" on screen — but, we'd love it if he did nonetheless.

Watch Villeneuve's quick interview on the matter below, and check out our review of Dune: Part Two here

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