“This is just the beginning.” Thus ended Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part One, a thrilling and gripping adaptation of at least half of Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 sci-fi. It’s pretty exciting to leave the audience out for the unfamiliar, but in late 2023, Dune: Part Two gives us the rest of the story that started it all.
Like Andy Muschietti’s Informatics films, the second film was not made back-to-back with the original, which raised some concerns over whether the planned two-part adaptation would be complete, but Warner Bros. gave the sequel the green light soon after. Part One was released in October 2021. With a total of $400 million at the global box office and six Oscars to its name, Villeneuve’s film did slightly better than David Lynch’s 1984 cult-classic.
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There’s not long to wait, though, and while readers of the book already know what awaits them, Dune: Chapter Two will hold some surprises for those who don’t go back and check out the rest of the story.
With spoilers for Part One, here’s what we know so far about Denis Villeneuve’s sequel…
Dune: Part Two release date
Unlike the first movie, which premiered simultaneously in theaters and HBO Max in the US and other regions, Dune: Part Two will hit theaters worldwide on November 3, 2023.
Filming took place between July and December 2022, so expect to see the first trailers or images from the sequel sometime this summer.
Dune: Part Two cast
Many of the surviving characters from Part One returned in Part Two, starting with Timothée Chalamet as Duke Paul Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson’s mother as Lady Jessica. Meanwhile, Stellan Skarsgård returns as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and Dave Bautista reprises his role as his nephew and lieutenant, Glossu Rabban.
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Zendaya had a shorter-than-expected role as Chani, the Fremen woman who appears in Paul’s visions in Episode One and then appears in the desert in the finale, but Javier Bardem is also back as Fremen leader Stilgar. Josh Brolin, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Charlotte Rampling also return in Episode Two.
The second half of Villeneuve’s adaptation will also introduce a number of new characters, led by Elvis star Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha, Baron Harkonnen’s other nephew and chosen heir.
This is the character Sting memorably portrayed in the David Lynch version, and at this point in the story he becomes a major foe of Paul.
Up in the chain of command, we meet Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, the Emperor’s daughter, and Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot, another member of the Bene Gesserit fraternity as Lady Jessica.
As for the emperor himself, Shaddam IV of the House of Corrino finally shows his face and is portrayed by none other than Christopher Walken.
Behind the scenes, Part One writer Jon Spaihts returned to screenwriting duties. Many of the Oscar-winning crew also return, including cinematographer Greig Fraser, editor Joe Walker, production designer Patrice Vermette, costume designer Jacqueline West, and of course composer Hans Zimmer.
Dune: Part Two plot
In the absence of the “Before in Dune” episode, the second will pick up where the first left off as House Atreides is in ruins and Paul and Jessica flee with the native Fremen in the deserts of the planet Arrakis.
You may also recall that throughout Chapter One Paul was plagued by visions of a holy war waged in the universe on his behalf. In one of these two prophecies, Fremen believe he is Lisan al-Gaib (“Voice of Another World”), the prophet who will lead them to heaven.
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His mother, meanwhile, believes he was the Bene Gesserit messiah, Kwisatz Haderah, born a generation premature. As you can imagine, this complicates things.
And so, Chapter Two will see Paul attempting to thwart an all-consuming civil war while simultaneously dealing with his new powers and seeking revenge on the Harkonnens for destroying his family. In turn, the Harkonnens must kill Paul and his mother to cover up the Emperor’s role in the downfall of Atreides, which then brings Feyd-Rautha and Irulan into the picture.
Oh, and Dune: Part Two is far from the end of the story. The Dune saga encompasses at least six of Herbert’s novels published between 1965 and 1985, and several sequels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
While this would complete the first novel, Villeneuve says he envisioned three Dune films. If Part Two does well at the box office, he hopes to hand over the franchise to other filmmakers and adapt its sequel, Dune Messiah. Warner Bros. is also producing a spin-off series, Dune: The Sisterhood, for HBO Max.
The future of the series after Episode Two is not yet clear, but for now, another extra-large serving of spices and sandworms is coming.
Dune: Part Two trailer
The first trailer for Dune: Part Two has not been released yet. If we had to guess, the first trailer for Dune: Part Two was released in May in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. On 3 or June with another major release from Warner Bros., The Flash.
Dune: Part Two hits theaters and IMAX on November 3, 2023. Watch the original trailer below.