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 2 is coming in 2023. 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, the 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. Villeneuve’s first movie finishes long before these events, and 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 2 will cover the second half of Herbert’s original novel, with exciting additions to the Dune 2 cast confirmed. Here are the latest Dune 2 updates.
Dune 2 Latest News
Dune Part 2 wrapped filming in December 2022, putting the film on track for a November 2023 release. Increasing attention is going toward the casting of Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. Following Butler’s Oscar-nominated breakout performance in Elvis, seeing what he does with an entirely different role could bring even more interest to Dune 2. Butler has teased how he’ll be playing the character, telling Backstage his villain will be a hero in their own eyes. Butler viewing the character with such a level of nuance is definitely a positive sign for Dune Part 2, since the source material is largely considered one of the thematically deepest science-fiction texts ever written.
Dune Part 2 Release Date
Dune 2 will be released in theaters on November 3, 2023. Filming for the movie took place in Hungary and the UAE between July and December 2022. With the movie now in post-production, Dune Part 2 is on track to meet its fall 2023 release date. Unlike the first movie, Dune 2 will be a theatrical exclusive. Recent Dune 2 updates have moved the release date around a bit, as it was originally slated for release on October 20, but this date was moved twice in reaction to release schedules from other studios.
Dune Part 2: New Cast And Returning Characters
Emperor Shaddam IV, who will notably be played by Christopher Walken, is perhaps the most anticipated character in the Dune Part 2 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. Timothy 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.
Several key characters will be returning from Dune Part 1. Timothy Chalamet’s Paul Atreides will continue to be the central character, while figures such as Javier Bardem’s Stilgar and Zandaya’s Chani will play larger roles. However, should the film follow the book, some characters would not make return appearances. Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto, for instance, would not appear unless in flashback form after his death at the hands of the Harkonnens. Jason Momoa’s Duncan Idaho gets resurrected as a ghola in the books, while Josh Brolin’s Gurney Halleck reunites with Paul at some point in the second half of Frank Herbert’s Dune — so they could also be part of the Dune 2 cast. The sequel will also reveal what happens to Stellan Skarsgård’s Baron Vladimir after he was poisoned by Leto’s tooth.
Dune Part 2 Story Details – What Happens In The Book?
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 2 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.
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 for any director to crack the problem of being limited to 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 2 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 Villenueve’s Dune Part 2. If everything goes well, Villenueve 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.