Unless it was a complete bomb, a sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was always all but assured. With good reviews, solid streaming numbers, and 10 Oscar nominations for the first, the second installment starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya is in production. Slated for a November 2023 release, Dune: Part Two will again take place in the inhospitable Arrakis desert in the far-off future. This time around, the messiah Paul Atriedes (Chalamet) is in the throes of a journey towards his destiny, battling the Harkonnen and Emperor Shaddam IV along the way. Fortunately, he has backup in the form of the Fremen—and most notably, the Fremen warrior Chani, who’s played by Zendaya.
On Thursday, December 1st, Chalamet shared a photo from the Dune set with his back facing the camera. In the photo, Chalamet wears a long, black, hooded coat with a skeleton outline on the back. Production for Dune: Part Two wrapped in Budapest, Hungary and Italy this year, but is currently continuing in the United Arab Emirates.
We have a year to go until Dune: Part Two hits theaters, but a surprising amount is already known about the film. Here, everything we’ve learned of what Villeneuve, Chalamet, and Zendaya have in store so far.
Has Dune: Part Two started filming?
Dune: Part Two began pre-production in Altivole, Italy in early July, according to Deadline, and then moved on to Budapest, where the first film was shot, to begin filming the sequel. Zendaya and other cast members are now in Abu Dhabi. There are also plans for filming in Jordan. The film’s official Twitter account announced production’s commencement with a shot of a clapper board on Twitter. Photos from set quickly started getting leaked. One blurry shot shows newcomer to the cast, Florence Pugh, dressed in character as Princess Irulan, wearing on off-white tunic and a matching headpiece.
Who’s in the cast of Dune: Part Two?
Fret not: Both Zendaya and Chalamet have returned. The same goes for Rebecca Ferguson and Josh Brolin, who are presumably reprising their roles as Lady Jessica Atreides and Gurney Halleck. They’ll have plenty of new company, starting with Léa Seydoux in the role of Lady Margot, a servant of the Sisterhood. Florence Pugh will play Princess Irulan, and Austin Butler will portray Feyd-Rathua, the heir of Brown Vladimir Harkonnen. Christopher Walken will round out the cast as the ruthless Emperor Shaddam IV. In July of 2022, it was announced that actress Souheila Yacoub had been added to the cast.
Will Zendaya get more screen time?
Thankfully, yes. The 25-year-old appeared in just seven minutes of the original, much to the disappoint of the fans who sat through its whopping two-hour-and-35-minute run time. Villeneuve has said that Dune: Part Two will primarily focus on Chalamet’s character, but also promised that we’ll get to know those who were sidelined in the original much better.
“There are some characters that are less developed that I’m keeping for the second film—that’s the way I found the equilibrium,” he told the Los Angeles Times last fall, noting that it was always his plan to make two films. “We tried in this movie to stay as close as possible to Paul’s experience. Then, in the second one, I will have time to develop some characters that were left aside a little bit” As Zendaya’s character, the Fremen warrior Chani, said at the end of part one, “this is only the beginning.”
In an interview in November 2022 with Variety, Chalamet gushed about what Zendaya was bringing to set.
“She hasn’t wrapped yet, and it’s amazing,” Chalamet said. “She’s bringing exactly what she brought to the first one — which was incredible — but in greater abundance. And she’s really become a sister. I’m so grateful to count her as a partner and a sister and a friend.”
He also shared what it was like to work with Pugh, saying, “Florence is really specia. She’s an incredible actor. She was incredible in Dune — seriously incredible. She brought a gravitas to the role. And I can’t believe my good fortune at this young age…between Taylor Russell in Bones and All and Zendaya in Dune. And Austin Butler’s in that movie too.
On November 16, Zendaya shared a message to her followers on Instagram Stories from filming on set in Abu Dhabi, writing over a photograph of a gorgeous sunset, “I know I’ve been quiet, but I’m here, just workin as usual…anyway sending love from Arrakis.”
How much Dune are we getting?
Knowing Villeneuve, don’t be surprised if the sequel also clocks in at more than two-and-a-half hours. On top of that, a spinoff series titled Dune: Sisterhood is approaching a year into development at HBO Max. “As a storytelling universe, Dune has extraordinary potential,” Dune writer Jon Spaihts told the Times.“This is a universe of 10,000 worlds, with civilizations spanning millennia and so many schools and tribes of people caught up in political intrigue, spiritual searches, battles and ancient vendettas.” Plus, there are about a million characters to delve into.
When is Dune: Part Two getting released?
Production began in the fall of 2022, and it was initially expected out sometime in October 20, 2023. But in October of 2022, Deadline reported that the release date had been set for November 3, 2023, instead. As for why it’s so far off, chances are Chalamet has something to do with it. Between playing a young Willy Wonka and reuniting with Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino on Bones and All, the 26-year-old Academy Award nominee has been staying booked and busy.
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