Feels like people are using the race thing with the girl but I think really it's just people didn't like that she was playing some trope in a comic book movie that wasn't very fleshed out or particularly interesting. Not sure that's really on her and I think in general the casting for this has been good so we'll see.
Villeneuve is known to be quite involved in actors casting / direction on a daily basis during both filming and production. He likes to talk with cast before scenes and getting along with them. A lot of Hollywood movies nowadays, director is like Jesus and you have to get through his twelve apostles (assistants, writers, development execs, producers, etc) to just make him notice your existence.
Also from an actor's PoV, Villeneuve's Dune is the hot shit right now, the guy has near pristine filmography and while 2049 hasn't made enough money he's seen as a definite career springboard. There's no reason he couldn't get most of the actors he wants. And about the "black female getting a fremen role", as long as the movie hasn't a minority inclusion agenda, I really don't care about the actors color as long as they act their character, not their race.
Zendaya is the only odd choice in my opinion, line her up with the rest of Fremen we'll see and she could stand out. I don't think this is a horrible choice, just odd. Bardem will probably steal every scene he is in, excellent choice. The choice for Paul's mother is another excellent pick by Villeneuve, about as close as you could get to the previous Lady Jessica as you could want, while still be different.
In 2019 America, the only acceptable love interest for a white man is a black woman. every. fucking. time. It barely happens in real life; it doesnt follow the story; its jarring and fucking stupid. Its like "we're remaking Cleopatra but this time we're having Samuel L Jackson play Cleopatra and youre a racist asshole if you object"
I let you motherfuckers have Heimdall, cause at the end of the day who cares about Asgard's doorman. But Chani? Theyre making Chani black now? No. Chani was hot, and was described in detail.
When a movie inserts forced diversity it might still be good. When a movie inserts a white male, black female relationship it means theyve swallowed so much SJW koolaid the whole thing is doomed.
Lifelong Dune fan - greatest sci fi series of all times.