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‘Dune Part 2’ Release Date, Cast News, and Spoilers


We’re headed back to Arrakis.

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is due for a sequel in 2024. The film first debuted in cinemas and on HBO Max in October 2021, but it was always the director’s plan to adapt Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel as a two-part saga. “This is only the beginning,” he previously said in a statement.

Here, we’re rounding up what we know about Dune: Part Two so far.

Who’s in the cast?

Timothée Chalamet will once again star as Paul Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson as his mother, Lady Jessica. Zendaya will reprise her role as Chani, a Fremen woman Paul first encounters in his dreams. Others expected to return include Javier Bardem as Fremen leader Stilgar, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, and Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

Florence Pugh is reportedly in talks for the role of Princess Irulan, daughter of Emperor Shaddam IV, who sent the Atreides family to Arrakis. According to The Hollywood Reporter, as of March 8, the deal is not yet final as Pugh is figuring out her schedule and wants to review the latest draft of the script, which is still being written. If confirmed, this will mark a reunion between Pugh and Chalamet, who both starred in 2019’s Little Women.

Christopher Walken has been cast as Emperor Shaddam IV. Meanwhile, Elvis star Austin Butler will play villain Feyd-Rautha, nephew of Baron Harkonnen and Paul’s rival. (The New York Times reports that he’s already started “intensive knife-fighting training” for the role.)

Léa Seydoux is in negotiations to play Lady Margot, a critical ally to Paul in his battle against House Harkonnen, Variety reports.

When will Dune: Part Two be released?

The film will now hit theaters on March 15, 2024, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The shift is due to the ongoing actors strike, which prevents actors from promoting their projects, and the cast is chock-full of stars who would lend their celebrity status in promoting this sequel.

The release date has been changed several times. It was previously slated for November 3, 2023 after being moved from November 17. Before that it was scheduled for October 20, according to Variety. While the first Dune began streaming the same day it arrived in cinemas, it’s unclear if the same will happen for the sequel now that COVID-19 protocols have eased up. In the meantime, Dune is now streaming on HBO Max.

Watch Dune

The film’s official Twitter account confirmed on July 18, 2022 that production was officially underway. “We’re rolling. Production on Dune: Part Two has begun,” the caption read. The post also tagged Austin Butler, confirming his casting in the sequel.

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Can I watch a trailer?

You sure can. The first trailer on May 3 to much fanfare, not long after the first footage debuted at CinemaCon. The preview reveals Chalamet’s Paul falling for Zendaya’s Chani and, on a more ambitious note, riding a sandworm, to the delight of the Fremen. Also, catch glimpses of new cast members including (a very bald) Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, and Léa Seydoux.

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The official trailer followed on June 29, teasing: Paul and Chani’s growing romance, a reunion between Paul and Josh Brolin’s Gurney Halleck, a brawl with Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha, and a massive war for Arrakis. Check it out below.

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What will Dune: Part Two about?

Even with a two and a half hour runtime, Dune part one left us asking some big questions, like, why didn’t we get more Zendaya? What will happen to Paul and his mother? Will there be more giant sand worms?

First, let’s backtrack. (Spoilers ahead!) The first film saw the powerful Atreides family take post in the desert planet of Arrakis to harvest a valuable spice, which led to a terrible clash with the rival House Harkonnen that left many dead, including Paul’s father, Duke Leto. Paul and his mother were exiled in the siege, and after trying to survive in the desert, they end up with a Fremen tribe led by Stilgar and including Chani.

Dune

Dune

We can look to the book for an idea of what happens next. According to Esquire, Paul rises the Fremen ranks, gets romantically involved with Chani, eventually rebels against Emperor Shaddam IV (Paul also marries his daughter, Princess Irulan), and faces House Harkonnen, namely his rival Feyd-Rautha. He also continues to step into the the messianic role of “Kwisatz Haderach.” Lady Jessica, who we know is pregnant by the end of the first film, gives birth to a daughter named Alia who wields significant Bene Gesserit powers.

In fact, we’ll see a lot more of the Harkonnens in the sequel. Villeneuve explained to IndieWire, “It’s like a chess game. Some new characters will be introduced in the second part, and a decision I made very early on was that this first part would be more about Paul Atreides and the Bene Gesserit, and his experience of being in contact for the first time with a different culture. Second part, there will be much more Harkonnen stuff.”

The director also told Empire that Feyd-Rautha “will be definitely a very, very important character in the second part” of Dune. Also, not all who are dead are really gone for good; “some will reappear out of the dust,” he added.

We can also, thankfully, expect to see more of Zendaya. She told Deadline one thing she’s looking forward to in part two: “Well, I can be there for longer, which is cool [laughs].”

She later added, “What was cool for me having not been around for much of the first shoot was getting to see the movie from a completely fresh perspective, because I hadn’t seen the sets and the scenes for most of the movie. And watching it felt like just the beginning of this story.”

Chalamet also told Deadline that there’s a lot more to come for all of the characters. “This story is far from finished,” he said. “These characters are far from their end points.”

Dune: Part Two will pick up right where part one left off. “I wanted the movie to really open just where we left the characters. There’s no time jump. I wanted dramatic continuity with part one,” Villeneuve told Vanity Fair. However, expect more warfare from the follow-up; the director describes it as a “war epic action movie.”

It will also focus more on the romance between Paul and Chani. But what is flirting in space in a sci-fi epic like? “Awkward and uncomfortable—there’s all those things,” Zendaya told VF. The outlet also shared some first-look photos below.

This story will be updated.

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Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now. 



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