Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune is considered one of the most important and influential sci-fi works of all time. If you love Star Wars, there is no galaxy far, far away without Dune. However, the 1984 feature film adaptation by David Lynch (Mulholland Drive) flopped critically and commercially, tainting the public perception of Dune in the media. Despite multiple television series in the early 2000s, it was not until 2021’s Dune that the novel received a proper and worthy adaptation.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Dune stars Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) as Paul Atreides, the heir to House Atreides on the planet Caladan. His father, Duke Leto Atreides (Moon Knight’s Oscar Isaac), is assigned to serve as the fiefholder of Arrakis, a mysterious desert planet home to the most valuable resource in the galaxy: spice. It is Duke Leto’s dream to bring peace to Arrakis and form an alliance with the native Fremen, but House Harkonnen, the rival of House Atreides, conspires with the Emperor to retake the planet and destroy House Atreides. After a coup by the Harkonnens, it’s up to Paul to carry out his father’s vision and become the savior to unite the people of Arrakis.
Dune was named one of the best films of 2021 by many critics, winning six Oscars and grossing over $400 million worldwide. Paul’s heroic journey will continue in Dune: Part Two later this year. Below is everything we know about the upcoming sequel.
Dune: Part Two will arrive in theaters on March 1, 2024. The film was originally supposed to premiere on October 20, 2023. The release date was moved to November 17, 2023, and then to November 3, 2023. However, the months-long labor disputes in Hollywood brought the film industry to a grinding halt in 2023, delaying the release of Dune: Part Two by four months. The film should be worth the wait, especially since certain theaters will present it in glorious IMAX 70 mm print.
Chalamet will continue to headline the Dune franchise in the role of Paul. Returning stars from the first film include Zendaya (Euphoria) as Chani, a Fremen woman and Paul’s love interest; Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning) as Lady Jessica, Paul’s mother; Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame) as Gurney Halleck, House Atreides’ weapons master; Stellan Skarsgård (Avengers: Age of Ultron) as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, leader of House Harkonnen; Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) as Stilgar, leader of the Fremen; Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) as Glossu Rabban, the Baron’s vindictive nephew; Stephen McKinley Henderson (Lady Bird) as Thufir Hawat, an ally and Mentat to House Atreides; and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) as Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit.
There will be no shortage of star power, as Austin Butler (Elvis), Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter), and Florence Pugh (Don’t Worry Darling) have joined the cast for Part Two. Butler stars as the villainous Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, while Walken plays Emperor Shaddam IV, with Pugh as his daughter, Princess Irulan. Also appearing in Part Two is Léa Seydoux (No Time to Die) as Lady Margot of the Bene Gesserit, a close friend of the Emperor, and Souheila Yacoub (Climax) as the Fremen warrior Shishakli. Tim Blake Nelson (Watchmen) has been cast in an unknown role.
Villeneuve returns to direct Dune: Part Two with a script co-written by himself, Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump).
Dune: Part Two will pick up shortly after the events of Dune: Part One. The end of the previous film saw Paul and Jessica following Chani and the rest of the Fremen into the desert. Paul will now attempt to both fulfill his father’s goal of uniting the people of Arrakis and avenge his death and the destruction of House Atreides at the hands of the Harkonnens.
The official logline reads: “This follow-up film will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.”
When speaking about the plot of this sequel, Villeneuve stated that it is a “more muscular” film than the original. “The first movie was more meditative and contemplative,” he said. “We were following a young man discovering a new planet, a new culture. The second movie … it’s more of an action film than the first.”
Will there be a time jump?
Though the sequel won’t start long after the original, the source material suggests that the film might skip ahead into the future, similar to Avengers: Endgame. To explain, the book shows Paul living with the Fremen for two years and having a child with Chani named after his father, Leto. Whether or not the film follows this timeline remains to be seen.
Will Alia play a major role?
One important character is noticeably absent from the sequel’s cast list: Alia Atreides. Fans of the novel know her as Paul’s infant sister, who was born while he and Jessica hid with the Fremen. Alia is an extraordinary child born with adult intelligence after a pregnant Jessica drinks the Water of Life to become a Reverend Mother. Dune: Part One foreshadows Alia’s birth in the sequel, but there is no hint that she will have the major role given to her in the book. It is understandable if the filmmakers took liberties with her character, as a talking, hyper-intelligent toddler might be too jarring for audiences.
As of January 12, three trailers for Dune: Part Two have been released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
They hint at an epic, action-packed battle between the Fremen and the Harkonnens.
They also show glimpses of Paul in a romantic relationship with Chani, riding a sandworm like the Fremen, and facing off against Feyd-Rautha in the story’s climactic final battle.
Dune: Part Two will be released exclusively in theaters. Unlike Dune, it will not be simultaneously streaming on Max. The streaming date will come after its theatrical run, ranging from 30 days to three months.
Villeneuve has expressed interest in making a third film based on Dune Messiah, the second book in the Dune novel series that takes place 12 years after the events of the first. However, the success of the second film will determine whether Messiah is greenlit.
There will also be a spinoff series on Max titled Dune: Prophecy, which takes place 10,000 years before the events of Dune and is based on the novel Sisterhood of Dune. According to Variety, the show follows sisters Valya and Tula Harkonnen “as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit.”
Originally titled Dune: The Sisterhood, the series has seen numerous changes to the showrunner and cast. In late 2022, Diane Ademu-John (The Haunting of Bly Manor) stepped down as co-showrunner shortly after production began, with Alison Schapker (Lost) as the sole showrunner. Director Johan Renuck (Chernobyl), who signed on to direct the first two episodes, and Shirley Henderson (The Rise of Skywalker), who was set to star as Tula Harkonnen, left the project in February 2023. Indira Varma also walked away from her role as Empress Natalya on the show due to scheduling conflicts.
Fortunately, Deadline reports that Olivia Williams (The Crown) and Jodhi May (The Witcher) have signed on to play Tula and Natalya, respectively. Likewise, Anna Foerster (Lou) will direct multiple episodes in the series, including the pilot. The production resumed in November 2023 after being put on hiatus.
There is now! After unveiling the first trailer at CinemaCon and not letting the public see it, Warner Bros. has taken pity on Dune fans and released its first official poster. The first poster is below:
It’s fitting that the first poster focuses on the first film’s primary characters, Paul and Chani, played by Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. It’s also appropriate that nothing else is featured except for a blazing orange sun, which dominates the desert planet Arrakis’ landscape. The poster gives off a vintage sci-fi paperback feel, which draws back to Dune‘s literary origins as a literary genre landmark first published in 1965.
Recently, Warner Bros. has released character posters for most of the cast of Dune: Part Two. While all of them are striking, our favorite one is perhaps Lady Jessica’s poster, which is truly haunting.
Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides.
Zendaya as Chani.
Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.
Christopher Walken as Shaddam IV.
Oppenheimer‘s Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan.
Javier Bardem as Stilgar.
Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot.
Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck.
Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.
Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban.
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