Dune 2: All We Know About The Sequel

Dune 2 is set to be released on October. 20, 2023 and production is currently underway on the film.

By Faith McKay | Published

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Will Dune Part 2 be made? Before the studio made its official announcement, Giant Freakin Robot exclusively learned that Warner Bros had already given the green light on Dune 2. Shortly thereafter, our exclusive report was confirmed and a Dune Part Two graphic was released by the studio.

Following this reveal, CEO Ann Sarnoff was asked about the possibility of a sequel by Deadline. She said, “If you watch the movie you see how it ends. I think you pretty much know the answer to that.” Those who have seen part one know that it ends in a way where a sequel was pretty much guaranteed. The story was put together with a part two in mind. So what will happen when it does? Here’s everything we’ve learned about Dune 2 so far.

DUNE PART ONE LEFT OFF HALFWAY THROUGH THE NOVEL

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Esquire gave a very positive review of the first movie. Still, they noted that part one leaves off “just as the real adventure seems to be beginning.”. That seems to be a common comment by those who’ve seen the first movie, and one that would match up with how even the director sees things.

Denis Villeneuve spoke about Dune 2 with Nerdist. He said, “The tough task here was to do introduce you guys to the world, to the ideas, to this world, to the codes, the cultures, the different families, the different planets,” the director explained. “Now once this is done, it becomes an insane playground. So it will allow me to go berserk and really create… I should not say that, but I will say that, for me, Dune Part I is like an appetizer and Dune Part II is the main meal. … As much as Dune Part I was by far my most exciting project ever, Dune Part II is already getting me more, even more excited. That’s all I will say.”

The first movie ends with Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) finally finding and joining up with the Fremen. Lady Jessica is pregnant, though the Fremen don’t know that. Paul has just killed someone for the first time. He hasn’t yet disclosed to Chani that he sees her in his dreams, and the group, in general, is divided on whether Paul is really the Kwisatz Haderach (messiah). They walk away into the desert together as a group.

THE DUNE 2 PLOT WILL INCLUDE THE FREMEN MORE

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What’s going to happen in the sequel? We can guess a lot of what will happen in Dune 2 based on the second half of the book. Because it’s an adaptation and likely to stay fairly true, you should be warned that this section may spoil part two.

Part two will likely start off with Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) uniting the tribes of Fremen. Since part one ended with the Harkonnen taking over spice production, Paul and the Fremen will now be on a mission to disable their operation wherever he can. At the end of the first movie, Paul was seen having visions about avenging his father and following through on what he would have wanted to see happen. This will be part of what drives Paul forward, at least initially.

During part one, Zendaya’s character is mostly seen through Paul’s visions/dreams. In part two, the pair will get to know each other in person and grow much closer. She will be taking on a bigger role in the story, as well as in Paul’s life, and will be teaching him more about the Fremen and their ways.

Lady Jessica will be working to become a Reverend Mother for the Fremen in Dune 2. As part of this process, she will need to drink the Water of Life, which is toxic. Though she is pregnant, she goes ahead and drinks the toxic substance. Surviving this is a major test, and also something meant to give her memories of the women in her bloodline who’ve come before her. Because she is pregnant when she does this, those memories are also passed on to her unborn child. When her daughter is born, she comes into the world with all the memories of the women of her bloodline, making her as intelligent as a grown woman.

In his visions, Paul sees that if the Fremen aren’t carefully led, they could be powerful enough to take over the entire universe. At the same time, he sees how united, they can take back Arrakis. As he continues on with his raids and nearly halts spice production, the emperor and Baron Harkonnen decide to unite against him. This will lead to a major battle toward the end of Dune 2.

ZENDAYA’S CHANI WILL PLAY A MUCH BIGGER ROLE IN DUNE 2

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Director Denis Villeneuve has said that Zendaya’s character Chani will lead Dune 2. His interviews have suggested that part two will see Chani as the main protagonist, replacing Timothee Chalamet as the central voice for the sequel. This first came up in an interview that was done in Italian, but everything he has said since has remained consistent. Chani will be the main voice for the sequel.

TIMOTHEE CHALAMET, JESSICA FERGUSON, JAVIER BARDEM, AND MORE WILL RETURN FOR DUNE 2

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Because the movie hasn’t been announced yet, the cast for Dune 2 haven’t been confirmed. Audiences can expect to see Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides, Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, and Javier Bardem as Stilgar for the main cast. Audiences can also expect to see the return of Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck.

DENIS VILLENEUVE WANTS TO MAKE DUNE PART 3?

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That question may surprise fans of Frank Herbert’s novel. After watching the movie, it would seem like filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has broken Dune into two parts, which is accurate. However, Denis Villeneuve has revealed that he would like to make it a trilogy, if he gets the chance. He wants to split the first novel into two parts and then make a third film based on the book’s sequel, Dune Messiah. However, the director was very clear that he wasn’t chomping at the bit to make the third movie happen. He said he is entirely focused on getting Part Two made. As for the third? Someone will need to ask him about it when he’s ready to promote Dune 2.

DUNE 2 IS UNLIKELY TO RELEASE ON STREAMING AT SAME TIME AS THEATER

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It’s unlikely that Dune 2 will release on HBO Max at the same time that it releases in theaters. For one thing, the studio has said they’re moving away from that release strategy after 2021. For another thing, the filmmaker has slammed streaming releases. He compared watching Dune at home to driving a speedboat in your bathtub. While he understood the necessity of the release strategy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he wasn’t happy about it. All signs point to a theatrical only release for part two, but note that anything could happen.

DUNE 2 WILL RELEASE ON OCTOBER 20, 2023

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Dune 2 is scheduled to release in movie theaters on October 20, 2023. This is almost exactly two years after the release of part one.

The filmmaker shared details that give a look at what a timeline could involve. He has said that once the studio is ready to move forward, he would be ready to move forward “fairly quickly”. He added that, “I will be ready to shoot in 2022 for sure. 2022, for sure. I would love [to] because I am ready to go. And I will say that I would love to bring it to the screen as soon as possible, but we know [with] the first film, I really had time to make sure that it was exactly the way I wanted it to be. And I would love to have the same feeling when I make the second part. So that would be the priority. More quality will be the priority.”

This matches up with his previous statements, where he said that work was already happening on the script for Dune 2. Part one took two and a half years of work. with the current release schedule, they’re going to have to make things happen a lot faster.

DUNE 2 ADDS FLORENCE PUGH AND AUSTIN BUTLER

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With Dune 2 set to introduce even more characters to the cast, we know that the movie would likely add another star or two before it was all said and done. That was the case with the recent announcement that Florence Pugh had signed on to play Princess Irulan. It’s an interesting decision to add Pugh here seeing as how, at least in the books, Irulan didn’t have a major role until near the end. With Pugh coming on board though it could signal even more stories coming in this universe, or an extension beyond the first Frank Herbert novel. There was a brief look at Pugh on the Dune 2 set released on Twitter:

Additionally, Austin Butler has joined the cast as well. The star of the upcoming biopic Elvis will be playing Feyd-Rautha, the nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. The character is intelligent, sadistic, and dangerous, viewed as a potential successor to the throne. It will be interesting to see how the character is used in this film though he should garner significant screentime. His story is important for how the Harkonnen’s plan to keep power and he is also pitted against Chalamat’s Paul Atreides.

JASON MOMOA WANTS TO RETURN TO FUTURE DUNE MOVIES

Though Jason Momoa’s Duncan Idaho died in the first Dune movie, it doesn’t mean that he is completely done with the franchise. And no, we aren’t talking about the Multiverse here. In the Dune franchise of novels, Idaho’s character does “technically” make a return though not in his original form. In the books, Idaho returns as a ghola, or a being created from the cells of a dead person. Momoa said in an interview about his possible return:

“Have you read the books? Well, I mean the books are proof… so I’m not the one spoiling it here. So, you should continue reading. I love that world and I’m very happy to be a part of it.”

This wouldn’t happen until Dune 3 if we get that far. But it stands to reason we see him back in the mix at some point.