Ever since the new film adaptation was announced, the hype for Dune was remarkable, and growing with every A-lister added to the cast. That the film managed to maintain fans’ excitement levels was made even more impressive by the entire years’ delay from the original 2020 release date to the film’s ultimate premiere in October 2021. But now that the film is in theaters and on streaming, fans have questions about a Dune Part 2 sequel. Here’s everything the production has revealed so far about the upcoming follow-up.
Warning: Spoilers for Dune follow. Dune ends with a super abrupt final scene. Duke Leto is dead, House Atreides has fallen, and Paul and Lady Jessica have taken refuge with the Fremen as House Harkonnen retakes control of the spice trade. To earn their place in the Fremen hold, Paul finds himself facing down an opponent he didn’t expect: Jamis.
In Paul’s visions, Jamis was always the one who led him into the desert and showed him the way. But the reality of how that happens turns out to be Jamis’ life sacrificed, with Paul taking his life as the first step from being Paul Atreides to becoming the Messiah of Fremen legend, the Lisan al-Gaib. In a sense, Jamis was leading him to the path into the desert, just not how Paul expected him to.
For those who have read the novel, this ending is the halfway point of the book. Paul’s continuing journey toward becoming Muad’Dib and the birth of his sister (who Lady Jessica is currently carrying) are major plot points the film never gets to.
Obviously, there must be more, right? Indeed there will be. Here’s what fans should know about plans for a second film.
Dune Part 2 Announcement
With a domestic box office take of $40 million on opening weekend, and reports of Dune topping Zack Snyder’s Justice League in streaming views on HBO Max, fans knew a decision about the sequel would come quickly, and they were right. On Tuesday, Oct. 26, less than a week after the film’s premiere on Thursday, Oct. 21, Legendary Pictures announced it was moving ahead with Dune Part 2.
Dune Part 2 Plot
Let’s start with that missing half of the story. Dune may only clock in at 412 pages, but it’s a dense book. There’s an entire set of plots dedicated to intergalactic trade and another set concerning intra-house rivalries. And that’s not even getting into Paul’s transformation into a messianic figure, the Fremen uprising, or how the Bene Gesserit have been planning this as a long con for a couple of thousand years, with an entire breeding-and-concubine program dedicated to it.
This is a major reason why Dune has never been made into a successful film or TV series before this point — because there is just so much to unpack. (The 1984 David Lynch film was partly a failure because Lynch attempted to pack all of this in in a single run, and the production studio butchered it to create a film that wasn’t six hours long.) Director Denis Villeneuve knew all this going in and has been upfront about his desire to make this a two-parter, or maybe even a trilogy.
Speaking to GamesRadar, Villeneuve straight up said that adapting the first book in the Dune series was always a two-part endeavor. “There’s no such thing as Dune 1 and Dune 2. It’s Dune Part 1 and Dune Part 2.” Although Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. did not greenlight both parts from the jump — which would have allowed him to film them back-to-back, Lord of the Rings style — the script for the other half is already prepped and ready to go.
In an interview with CBC’s Radio Canada, Villeneuve also said he wants to go beyond the first book also to adapt Frank Herbert’s first sequel, Dune Messiah: “[It] could make an extraordinary film. I always saw that there could be a trilogy; after that, we’ll see. It’s years of work; I can’t think of going further than that.”
Dune Part 2 Cast
So, who will return for a second film? Casting for the second half has not been confirmed, but obviously, Timothée Chalamet will be the headliner as leading figure Paul Atreides. Zendaya is expected to be back as the love of his life, Chani, and Rebecca Ferguson as his mother, Lady Jessica. Javier Bardem will likely also be back as Stilgar, the leader of the Fremen.
On the other side, House Harkonnen’s leading figures should also return with Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir and Dave Bautista as his nephew, Glossu Rabban. Also, Charlotte Rampling will most likely return as Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother.
And finally, although this might not be one fans would suspect, Jason Momoa could be back as Duncan Idaho. Despite the warrior’s glorious demise in the first film, the character has a secret revealed later in the novels. Should the adaptation stick with that, Momoa just may come back.
Dune Part 2 Trailer
Considering the Dune sequel will still have to gear up for production, there’s no trailer or footage as of yet. In fact, fans will probably not get a look at the new film right away, even if filming begins in early 2022. Fans should expect things to take at least a year and change just for principal photography, and then several months for post-production, putting a realistic trailer release date in late 2022 at the earliest.
Dune Part 2 Premiere Date
Dune Part 2 has been scheduled to hits theaters in just under two years’ time, on Oct. 10, 2023. Unlike Part 1, it will be a theatrical-only release.
Dune is playing in theaters worldwide and streaming on HBO Max.