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 likely to be another hit.
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.
While Dune: Part Two was originally slated to hit theaters this November, it’s been delayed amid the ongoing strikes to 2024.
Here, everything we’ve learned about what Villeneuve, Chalamet, and Zendaya have in store so far.
Is there a Dune: Part Two trailer yet?
A new trailer for Dune: Part Two dropped on December 12th, and gives a pretty thorough look at what the film will be about. It heavily features Paul Atreides (Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya) as the former attempts to fulfill his prophecy following the death of his father. In the clip, he travels to the arid desert of Arrakis, teaming up with the blue-eyed Fremen people to exact revenge on the Harkonnens, who destroyed his family. In the meantime, he falls in love with Chani.
Who’s in the cast of Dune: Part Two?
Rebecca Ferguson and Josh Brolin will both reprise 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 first Dune, 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.
“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 a first look for Vanity Fair, Zendaya talked about the love story unfolding between her and Chalamet’s characters. “It was funny trying to figure out in this futuristic space talk, like, how do they flirt?” she said. “What does that look like for a space warrior and the young duke of a planet? How do they show that they like each other? What does that even sound like? We were definitely trying to navigate that, which was funny because all of us were stumped. I think it’s just as foreign to us as it probably is to the characters.”
In an interview in November 2022 with Variety, Chalamet gushed about what Zendaya was bringing to set. “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.”
What about Florence Pugh?
Pugh plays Princess Irulan, the daughter of Emperor Shaddam IV (Walken), whose power as ruler of the entire galaxy is starting to wane. Speaking to Vanity Fair of the character, Villeneuve said, “Her stake could not be higher because she’s afraid that her father could lose the throne, could lose everything. When I met Florence, I was struck by her assurance, how grounded she is as a young woman, how direct, how unapologetic. She has something inherently royal about her. I will definitely believe that Florence could become, in the future, a prime minister.”
In a new featurette released January 30th, Chalamet sung Pugh’s praises, calling her “amazing,” adding that she brought a “steeliness” and a “fierceness” to the role. Watch below:
How much Dune are we getting?
Dune: Part Two has a runtime of 166 minutes—that’s 11 minutes longer than 2021’s Dune, and will be Villeneuve’s longest film to date.
On top of that, a spinoff series titled Dune: Sisterhood is reportedly happening 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.
At CinemaCon, Villeneuve clarified that Part Two is not a sequel but rather a continuation of the first feature. “Part Two is more action-packed, epic war movie, much more bulk, much more dance,” he said, calling the first Dune an “appetizer” to the “main course” of Part Two.
Will there be a Dune: Part Three?
Villeneuve teased the ending of Part Two to TotalFilm, and in doing so, also hinted that the Dune films might indeed be a trilogy. "All of the elements are there,” he said. “But I think the movie adaptation is more tragic than the book. The way that Part Two ends… it would create a total balance and equilibrium to finish Paul’s storyline in what we could say in Part Three."
He’s referring to author Frank Herbert’s six Dune novels that the films are based on. If there were a third Dune movie, it would adapt the events of Dune: Messiah, the second of the six novels.
At a separate South Korean press conference, Villeneuve shared that the script for Dune: Part Three is “almost finished,” though he said that he’d make a different movie before diving into a third Dune, for his “mental sanity.”
Chalamet and Zendaya also expressed their excitement for a possible third Dune film. "The idea excites me very much," Chalamet said. "If the time and opportunity comes to complete the story with Messiah, I think we're all super-enthusiastic about that."
Zendaya added, “Denis is an artist, and doesn't like to share things until he's got it figured out. So whenever he's ready, we’re all keenly ready to hear what his vision is," Zendaya says of ‘Messiah.’
Does Dune: Part 2 have a release date?
Dune: Part Two hits theaters March 1, 2024, after the release date was delayed due to the strikes. It will also screen in 70mm IMAX before likely making its way to streaming. 2021's Dune is currently streaming on Netflix and Max.
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