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Austin Butler Shared New Info About His Dune 2 Character

Just when you thought you couldn't get more excited about this movie...

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Warner Bros. Pictures

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 year’s delay from the original 2020 release date to the film’s ultimate premiere in October 2021. But now that the film is on streaming, fans have turned their attention to Dune: Part Two. Here’s everything to know so far about the upcoming sequel.

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’s hold, Paul finds himself facing down an opponent he didn’t expect: Jamis.

In Paul’s visions, Jamis always 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 story. 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 first film never gets to. That’s where Dune: Part Two comes in.

Dune: Part Two Cast

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Timothée Chalamet will be the headliner as leading figure Paul Atreides in the second film, with Zendaya as the love of his life, Chani, and Rebecca Ferguson as his mother, Lady Jessica. Javier Bardem will also be back as Stilgar, the leader of the Fremen, and Josh Brolin returns as Gurney Halleck, one fo the few remaining House Atreides loyalists. On the other side, House Harkonnen’s leading figure will be back, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir, with Dave Bautista as his nephew, Glossu Rabban. Also, Charlotte Rampling will return as Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother.

In new faces for the sequel, the first major announcement came in March 2022, as Florence Pugh was cast as Princess Irulan, and Austin Butler was slated to play Harkonnen heir Feyd-Rautha.

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In an interview with Backstage, Bulter talked about the experience filming Dune, and even though his role is as one of the villains in House Harkonnen, he took it on as someone who believed himself on the side of right. “You have to not judge the character and find a way to really feel the motivation towards any one of your actions,” he said. “We had a lot of conversations and crafted that together. Denis [Villeneuve, the director] is so thoughtful, and he doesn’t miss anything. His attention to detail is really remarkable.”

In May 2022, Christopher Walken was confirmed to play the Emporer himself, Shaddam IV. Just as filming began, Léa Seydoux was confirmed for Lady Margot and Souheila Yacoub as Shishakli.

It’s still an open question as to whether Jason Momoa will be back as Duncan Idaho. Despite the warrior’s glorious demise in the first film, the character has a secret revealed later in the source material. Should the adaptation stick with that, Momoa just may come back, but as of now, his name is not listed as one that will return.

Dune: Part Two Plot

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 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.) Villeneuve knew all this going in and has been up front about his desire to make a two-part film or maybe even a trilogy. In an interview with CBC’s Radio Canada, Villeneuve 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.”

Here’s the official synopsis for Dune: Part Two:

This follow-up film will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

Dune: Part Two Filming Updates

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 Oct. 26, 2021 less than a week after the film’s premiere, Legendary Pictures announced it was moving ahead with Dune: Part Two.

Filming for the second half of the story began on July 18, 2022, and was completed in December of the same year. Filming took place on location, as it did with the first film, in Italy, Hungary, and Abu Dhabi.

Dune: Part Two Trailer

Even though the Dune sequel has finished filming, fans should expect several months for post-production, putting a realistic trailer release date in early 2023.

Dune: Part Two Premiere Date

Warner Bros. Pictures

Dune: Part Two was originally scheduled to hits theaters on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, but was pushed back a month and will now arrive on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. Unlike Part One, it will be a theatrical-only release.

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