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. (And while it was originally slated to hit theaters this November, it’s been delayed amid the ongoing strikes to 2024). This time around, the messiah Paul Atriedes (Chalamet) is in the throes of a journey toward 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.
Here, everything we’ve learned about what Villeneuve, Chalamet, and Zendaya have in store so far.
Is there a Dune: Part Two trailer?
A trailer for Dune: Part Two dropped on Thursday, June 29th, and 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.
“This world is beyond cruelty. We’ve been fighting the Harkonnens for decades; my family’s been fighting them for centuries, and they were massacred alongside my father,” Chalamet at the beginning of the trailer. At one point, Chani launches a high-tech rocket launcher to fight the Harkonnen. Watch below:
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 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.
On April 27th, Vanity Fair shared a first look at the cast, featuring Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh and more as their Dune characters:
Will Zendaya get more screen time?
Thankfully, yes. The 25-year-old appeared in just seven minutes of the first Dune, much to the disappointment 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 is Florence Pugh’s role?
Pugh has joined the cast as Princess Irulan, the daughter of Emperor Shaddam IV (played by the one and only Christopher Walken), whose power as ruler of the entire galaxy is starting to wane. Speaking to Vanity Fair, 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.”
How much Dune are we getting?
Dune: Part Two is reportedly a whopping 3 hours and 15 minutes long. On top of that, a spinoff series titled Dune: Sisterhood is 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.
Does Dune: Part 2 have a release date?
Dune: Part Two was originally slated to hit theaters November 3, 2023. However, in August it was announced that the film has been delayed to March 15, 2024, amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes—which would have meant the star-studded cast would’ve been prevented from doing any press for the film.
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