While at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, the Spanish star participated in a Q&A with fans as part of the festival’s 75th birthday celebrations. One of the topics Bardem, 53, covered was the highly anticipated sequel to director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.
“I’ve read the new draft,” Bardem shared with the audience members of the sequel’s progress, according to Deadline. “And I think they’ve done an amazing job of putting together the pieces in a way that is gonna surprise people.”
While he acknowledged that fans of Frank Herbert’s original book series won’t necessarily be surprised by what happens in the movie, Bardem said “they’ll be surprised by the way they put it together.”
“I was very moved by it,” he said of the script.
Bardem will reprise his role as Stilgar in Dune: Part Two, and said he can’t wait to get back on set. He called Villenueve “one of the greatest directors ever.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE‘s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
The Canadian director — known for movies like Arrival and Sicario— was praised for his depiction of Herbert’s epic, and previously told The Los Angeles Times that he structured aspects of the first movie around the probability of a sequel. The sci-fi story follows Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet.
“There are some characters that are less developed that I’m keeping for the second film — that’s the way I found the equilibrium. We tried in this movie to stay as close as possible to Paul’s experience,” Villeneuve said. “Then, in the second one, I will have time to develop some characters that were left aside a little bit. That’s the theory. I hope it will work.”
Chalamet, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson are returning in the sequel, alongside Bardem. While some characters are positioned to have bigger roles in the second film, the sequel will also introduce some new faces, like Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, plus Florence Pugh and Elvis breakout Austin Butler.
Earlier this year, Dune received 10 Oscar nominations and went on to win six total: Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design and Best Sound.
Dune: Part Two is slated to hit theaters Oct. 20, 2023.