- Dune: Part Two is set to conclude the story of Paul Atreides and the war on Arrakis, as the first movie focuses on world-building and setup.
- Dune: Part Two has had its release date delayed until 2024 due to strikes in Hollywood, with the new release date set for March 2024.
- The movie features an exciting new cast, including Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, and will delve deeper into the personal conflicts and epic battles of the characters.
Despite its extended runtime and in-depth world-building, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune only tells half the story of Frank Herbert’s original novel, and Dune: Part Two is coming in 2023 to round off the story. The main story of Dune focuses on Paul Atreides, the teenage son of Duke Leto who travels to the desert planet Arrakis, the home of the mystical substance Spice, with his family. Although the Atreides head to Arrakis to reform Spice production and increase prosperity, it soon becomes clear that they have walked into a trap laid by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and their mortal enemies, the Harkonnens.
Paul is forced to flee with his mother, Lady Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) before mustering a rebellious fighting force from the local people, the Fremen. The novel concludes with the destruction of House Harkonnen, the fall of the royal House Corrino, and the installation of Paul — now known by his followers as Muad’Dib — as the next Emperor. Dune: Part Two will detail the conclusion of Paul’s story, as 2021’s Dune instead focuses on setting up the narrative and establishing the world of Dune. As a result, there is still much of the story left to be told in a future sequel, as Dune: Part Two will cover the second half of Herbert’s original novel, with exciting additions to the Dune: Part Two cast confirmed.
Dune: Part Two Latest News
After a host of troublesome updates regarding the sci-fi sequel, the latest news confirms that Dune: Part Two‘s release date is coming sooner than expected. After being delayed due to the Hollywood strikes, the second part of Frank Herbert’s epic is now coming on March 11, 2024. While it is a minor change compared to its original March 15 date, it does mean fans will be back on Arrakis even sooner.
Dune: Part Two Release Date
Dune: Part Two is currently in theaters on March 11th, 2024. Filming for the movie took place in Hungary and the UAE between July and December 2022. Unlike the first movie, Dune: Part Two will be a theatrical exclusive. Dune: Part Two was originally slated for release on October 20, 2023, but this date was moved twice in reaction to release schedules from other studios. Dune: Part Two was then set for a November 2023 debut, but was shifted to a 2024 release date as Warner Bros. looks to adjust its release calendar in light of the recently-resolved SAG and WGA strikes.
The WGA strike was resolved on September 27th, 2023, and the SAG/AFTRA strike was resolved on November 9th, 2023.
Dune: Part Two New Cast & Returning Characters
Emperor Shaddam IV, who will notably be played by Christopher Walken, is perhaps the most anticipated character in the Dune: Part Two cast. Moreover, some might argue that this honor belongs to Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen or Princess Irulan, who will be played by Austin Butler and Florence Pugh respectively. Meanwhile, Lady Margot, the Bene Gesserit wife of Count Hasimir Fenring, will be played by Léa Seydoux. Tim Blake Nelson has also been confirmed to be joining the cast in an unnamed role. Souhalia Yacoub has also been confirmed to join the cast as a gender-swapped version of Shishakli, a Fremen sandrider.
Returning cast members from Dune: Part One include:
One key casting announcement that has still not been made is that of the character of Alia for Dune: Part Two. In the books, Alia is the sister of Paul who was born with high intelligence after Lady Jessica underwent preparations for becoming a Reverend Mother while pregnant. Given the role Alia plays in the second half of the book and especially the climax, it seems unlikely she has been cut from the story. However, the role of an adult-like 4-year-old would be a difficult one to cast.
Dune: Part Two Story Details
2021’s Dune Part 1 covers roughly half of the original novel, up until Paul’s meeting with the Fremen tribe led by Stilgar. This means that Dune: Part Two will be an action-packed blockbuster focused on the guerilla war between Paul’s Fremen and Arrakis’ Harkonnen oppressors. After a two-year conflict, Paul will eventually emerge victorious, and even successfully depose the Emperor after Shaddam IV attempts to bring Arrakis to heel with the presence of his elite Sardaukar stormtroopers. This sets the stage for the wider Dune saga and the ascension of House Atreides. However, Bardem has suggested that there will be some changes from the book, so it’s hard to say exactly what will happen.
The latest footage for Dune: Part Two revealed even more about the story as well as a better look at Austin Butler’s Dune 2 villain, Feyd-Rautha, who plays an integral part in the story and is a chilling antagonist. Other story aspects from Dune: Part Two revealed by the footage so far include how Paul is struggling with his new role as leader of the Fremen. Meanwhile, other characters have their own opinions on Paul’s role with Gurney encouraging him to embrace it, Stilgar marveling at Paul’s abilities, and Chani caught between the man she loves and her dedication to her people.
Dune: Part Two Trailer
The Dune: Part Two news continues to excite audiences with the reveal of the latest trailer for the anticipated sequel. The second full trailer showcases how director Denis Villeneuve is bringing an even bigger scale than the already ambitious first part of his Dune story. The footage shows breathtaking visuals of the characters, the landscapes, and the epic battle sequences. It hints that Dune: Part One was a tame setup to the real conflict of this conclusion which will see Paul leading the Fremen to war against their enemies.
As impressive as the visuals and action are, it also seems clear that the sequel will focus on characters and the personal conflict at the center of the war in Dune: Part Two. Along with seemingly bigger roles for Zendaya, Josh Brolin, and Dave Bautista this time around, there is also the excitement of new additions like Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, and Christopher Walken whose role as Emperor Shaddam IV is memorably featured in the new footage.
Why Dune Is Split Into Two Parts
Although Frank Herbert’s original 412-page novel is by no means the longest book to receive a theatrical adaptation, the universe it established is incredibly complex. In addition to the futuristic setting, the story incorporates elements of mysticism, philosophy, extrasensory perception, religion, genetics, and technology. This means that any adaptation has to first indulge in extensive world-building in order to create something conceivable for audiences.
Taking a cue from the long list of divisive or outright failed Dune adaptations, Villeneuve’s decision to make two movies is the first time any director has cracked the problem of trying to tell the story of Dune a single film. By splitting the film into two parts, Villeneuve has given himself the best opportunity to deliver a faithful recreation that does justice to Herbert’s seminal sci-fi masterpiece.
The new Dune: Part Two cast — Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, Austin Butler, and Léa Seydoux — face a great challenge in satisfying audience expectations about their respective characters. However, the success of the first Dune bodes well for Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two. If everything goes well, Villeneuve might just get the chance to complete his trilogy adaptation with Dune Part 3, which would be based on Frank Herbert’s second book Dune: Messiah.