Dune Part Two: Release Date And Other Things We Know About The Upcoming Movie

Paul (Timotheé Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya) in Dune: Part 2
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

In an effort to best bring the vision of author Frank Herbert to the big screen, writer/director Denis Villeneuve took a massive gamble with Dune. Without the promise that a sequel would be made, the Canadian filmmaker set about directing a film that adapted only about half of the book on which it is based – recognizing that the full scope of the novel couldn’t fit properly in a sub-three hour blockbuster. After years of development, the movie finally hit theaters in 2021, and in the wake of its successful opening weekend it was confirmed that the gamble paid off.

On October 26, 2021, Legendary Pictures officially announced that Dune: Part Two had received the green light and would move into the stages of production swiftly. Needless to say, it’s an exciting time to be a Dune fan, and only getting us more excited about the sequel are the major details we know about it already. So let’s do a run down, shall we?

Warning! Spoilers from the first Dune movie are mentioned in this article! 

If You’re Planning To Read Frank Herbert’s Dune First

Lady Jessica drinks the Water of Life in Dune: Part 2

(Image credit: Legendary)

Frank Herbert’s Dune is just the first book in a series of six that the author wrote prior to his death in 1986, but fans shouldn’t expect Dune: Part Two to do much dipping into those sequels. There is still quite a lot of story to cover from the seminal novel in the franchise, as the next movie will see Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) grow closer with Stilgar (Javier Bardem), Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen. Their partnership will help them fight back as House Harkonnen tries to reclaim control of Arrakis with the support of the corrupt intergalactic government.

Dune: Part Two Has A March 2024 Release Date

Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck in Dune: Part 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune: Part Two won’t arrive quite as early as originally expected. For a long time, Warner Bros. and Legendary had the film locked in for a November 3, 2023 release – the blockbuster having completed production in 2022 – but those plans were made prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike in 2023. Fearing that the stars of the movie wouldn't be available to promote it, the release date was moved to March 2024 - originally, it was set for mid-month, but it's now set to release on March 1st. It instantly becomes one of the most exciting titles on the 2024 Movie Release Calendar.

Are There Any Teasers Or Trailers For Dune: Part Two?

The very first trailer for Dune: Part Two arrived in early May 2023, the preview attached to opening weekend screenings of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The footage features many exciting moments from the original novel – the standout being Paul Atredies riding a sandworm. The second trailer for the blockbuster arrived in late June 2023 and you can watch it above.

Dune: Part Two’s Franchise Newcomers Include Florence Pugh And Austin Butler

Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan in Dune: Part 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The size of the ensemble cast in Dune is outrageous – but it’s also pretty shocking to see so many notable actors get killed in a single blockbuster. Unless there are flashbacks/big deviations from the book, Dune: Part Two is unlikely to feature Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, or Chang Chen. The good news is that the sequel film will be introducing some fresh faces to the universe with some fan-favorite characters.

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen

Prior to the release of Dune, Denis Villeneuve said that Feyd-Rautha was purposefully left out of the blockbuster so that the cunning and sadistic antagonist could have a “more elegant” arrival on the big screen. He’s set to execute that plan in collaboration with Oscar-nominee Austin Butler, who signed on to play the character in Dune: Part Two in March 2022.

Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corrino

Florence Pugh and Timotheé Chalamet already have prior experience working with one another, as the two actors co-starred in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, but they’ll have a different and special dynamic to play with in Dune: Part Two (and one that is going to stir up a whole lot of discourse online when the film is released). Princess Irulan is a semi-narrator of the novel, as excerpts from her writing are featured at the start of every chapter, and she is in a very powerful position in the universe being the daughter of Emperor Shaddam IV. Speaking of...

Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV

Emperor Shaddam IV is only referenced in Denis Villenueve’s Dune, but he’ll actually have an in-person role to play in Dune: Part Two, and Christopher Walken has been cast in the role. As you can probably tell by his title, he is essentially the universe’s ruler, though he is not exactly objective in his rule; he works with House Harkonnen to try and destroy House Atreides when threatened by their growing power and influence.

Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot

It was announced in June 2022 that Léa Seydoux would be playing the role of Lady Margot Fenring in Dune: Part Two. She is a member of the Bene Gesserit who, in the book, tries to help the Atreides prior to House Harkonnen’s attack on Arrakis.

Souheila Yacoub as Shishakli

In the book, Shishakli is a male character – specifically a member of the Fremen who gives Paul Atreides his hooks for riding sandworms – but the character has been gender swapped for the adaptation. Shishakli in Dune: Part Two will be played by Swiss actor Souheila Yacoub, whose credits include Gaspar Noé’s 2018 movie Climax.

Dune: Part Two Will Feature The Return Of Timotheé Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, And More

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

A lot of big characters die in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, but there are also plenty who live on and will be back for the sequel.

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides

There is clearly something special about Paul Atreides, and he will start to travel the road to discover what that is in Dune: Part Two. He’ll find love and become a leader – but he’ll also find that both come with extreme consequences. I won’t say too much about it, but it should be remembered that Denis Villeneuve definitely doesn’t see the Dune saga as a “white savior” story.

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides

As seen in Dune, Lady Jessica will go to extreme levels to protect and help her son, and that certainly won’t change in Dune: Part Two. She is a fighter and a rebel, and if the sequel is as faithful to the source material as its predecessor, then audiences will get to see her undergoing some pretty remarkable changes.

Zendaya as Chani

Zendaya fans may have been a touch disappointed by the small size of the actor's role in Dune, but that disappointment most definitely won’t carry over into the sequel, as Chani is one of the most important characters in the second half of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Without getting too spoiler-y, the story will see her bond with Paul grow much stronger as he lives among the Fremen and they will work together to stop the tyrannical rule of House Harkonnen on Arrakis.

Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck

The fate of Gurney Halleck is left ambiguous in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, as he is last seen looking terrified amidst the Sardaukar troops invasion of Arrakis – but those who have read the book know that he survives. Even more importantly, he is able to find Paul and Lady Jessica when they are living among the Fremen, and he helps in leading the fight against the Harkonnens.

Javier Bardem as Stilgar

Like Chani, Stilgar will also have a much larger role to play in Dune: Part Two than he played in Dune… and that’s why the blockbuster brought aboard the Oscar-winning talent that is Javier Bardem. He is the leader of the Fremen sietch that invites Paul and Lady Jessica in, and he is instrumental in both acclimating them to Arrakis and fighting back against despots ruling the planet.

Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen

Cinematic villains don’t come much more horrible than Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and he’ll obviously be back in action in Dune: Part Two. He was nearly killed in the first film due to Duke Leto’s last ditch assassination attempt, but he survived and will be featured only further bolstering his monstrous intergalactic reputation.

Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen

Movie-goers have not even begun to see the kinds of horrors of which Glossu Rabban Harkonnen is capable. As House Harkonnen retakes rule over Arrakis, Baron Harkonnen lets his sadistic nephew rule as a violent slave driver so that the denizens of the planet are thankful to be ruled over by his brother, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, when he is replaced.

Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam

Reverend Mother Mohiam’s big moment in Dune comes towards the beginning when she administers the Gom Jabbar test of humanity to Paul – but movie-goers have not yet seen the full extent of her antagonistic role just yet. She’ll be back in Dune: Part Two working with the emperor to see the end of the Atreides line.

Hans Zimmer Will Be Back To Do The Score For Dune: Part Two

Austin Butller as Feyd Rautha in Dune: Part 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The score that Hans Zimmer created for Dune is easily one of the most spectacular elements of the film – the music making use of otherworldly sounds that transport the audiences as much as the visuals do. That in mind, it would have been a massive disappointment to learn that the composer wouldn’t be coming back for the sequel, but that’s thankfully a nightmare audiences don’t have to be concerned about. Instead, Zimmer was one of the first individuals involved with the production to celebrate the Dune: Part Two news on social media, posting on Twitter, “Thank goodness I have some music left.”

Dune: Part Two Will Get An Exclusive Theatrical Release

Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Harkonnen in Dune: Part 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

When Warner Bros. announced in late 2020 that every title on their 2021 theatrical slate was going to be getting simultaneously released on HBO Max, Dune was a film at the center of the controversy that emerged. Denis Villeneuve was not shy in expressing his displeasure about the decision, remaining firm in his viewpoint that he made the movie to be experienced on the biggest screen possible. That became a standout item in the development of Dune: Part Two, as Variety reported that one expected “iron clad” part of the sequel deal will see the sequel be released exclusively in theaters and not be available on streaming/digital platforms until weeks later.

Dune Villeneuve Has Promised Dune: Part Two Will Feature More Action Than The First Film

Timothee Chalamet looking self assured in the desert in Dune: Part Two.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune fans were treated to some impressive large-scale set pieces in Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the first half of Frank Herbert's eponymous novel, but they will evidently pale in comparison to the sequel. Speaking at a press conference (via Total Film), the filmmaker explained that Dune: Part Two is notably more of an action movie than its predecessor, saying,

The first movie was more meditative and contemplative. We were following a young man discovering a new planet, a new culture. The second movie… it’s more of an action film than the first part. It’s more muscular."

Those who know the source material will understand why and how this is the case. Most of the movie will feature the surviving members of House Atreides in a war against House Harkonnen and the intergalactic government, and that central conflict is reflected in both large scale battles and one-on-one fights.

Denis Villeneuve Has Plans For Another Movie After Dune: Part Two

Zendaya as Chani in Dune: Part 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune fans were gnawing at their fingernails for years waiting for Dune: Part Two to finally get the greenlight, and there was a collective sigh of relief when it was announced. That being said, the anxiety about the future of the big screen franchise isn’t over just yet. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. may have agreed to produce Denis Villeneuve’s vision for the sequel, but the filmmaker doesn’t want to just stop there. Should all things go well with finishing his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s first Dune novel, he wants to then turn the series into a trilogy with the first ever big screen version of Dune Messiah. With that in mind, you may want to start letting your fingernails grow out now so that they are of a proper length to chew through come March 2024.

Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest news and updates about Dune: Part Two, and for in-depth analysis about the conclusion of Dune: Part One and where the story goes, check out our Dune Ending feature.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.