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Dune Part Two: 7 Quick Things We Know About The Denis Villeneuve Sequel

Zendaya as Chani in Dune
(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 filmmaker set about directing a film that adapted only about half of the book it is based on – recognizing that the full scope of the novel couldn’t fit properly in a sub-three hour blockbuster. After years of development, the movie is now finally here, and in the wake of its successful opening weekend it has been confirmed that the gamble has paid off.

On October 26, 2021, Legendary Pictures officially announced that Dune: Part Two had received the green light and will move into the stages of production swiftly. Needless to say, it’s an exciting time to be a Dune fan, and while the sequel is technically still in its infancy, there are already some major details we know about it already. So let’s do a run down, shall we?

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

Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in Dune

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune Part Two Will Adapt The Second Half Of Frank Herbert’s Dune

Let’s get the most obvious point out of the way first. 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 the Fremen and fight back as House Harkonnen tries to reclaim control of Arrakis.

Sting as Feyd-Rautha in David Lynch's Dune

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Key New Characters Will Enter The Story In Dune Part Two

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 yet-to-be-cast characters. Major players including the deadly Feyd-Rautha (notably played by Sting in the David Lynch film), Princess Irulan (portrayed by Virginia Madsen), and Emperor Shaddam IV aren’t depicted in Denis Villeneuve’s first movie, but there is every expectation they will debut in the follow-up.

Arrakis in Dune

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune: Part Two Has Already Been Designed

Dune: Part Two may have only gotten the studio green light in the aftermath of Dune’s opening weekend, but that doesn’t mean that Denis Villeneuve hasn’t been planning for the news for a very long time. Shortly after the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the filmmaker confirmed that the structure and the design of the sequel was planned alongside the development of the 2021 blockbuster. It’s because of this that the next chapter in the series will be able to move very quickly through development.

Zendaya as Chani in Dune

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

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

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. 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.”

Sandworm in Denis Villeneuve's Dune

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune: Part Two Has An October 2023 Release Date

Remember what I said about Dune: Part Two having the capacity to move through development very quickly? Well, that is best evidenced in the release date that Warner Bros. has given the film: October 20, 2023 (a.k.a. we’ll be enjoying its majesty on the big screen in less than two years’ time). There are logistic issues that the production is going to need to work out – especially in terms of coordinating schedules for the actors – and the various department heads will need some time to work on the costumes and the new sets for the sequel, but the expectation is that cameras will be rolling early in 2022.

Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet looking down with blue eyes in Dune.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune: Part Two Will Get An Exclusive Theatrical Release

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. Well, that has evidently become a standout item in the development of Dune: Part Two, as Variety says that one expected “iron clad” part of the deal will see the sequel be released exclusively in theaters and not be available on streaming/digital platforms until weeks later.

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica in Dune

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

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

Dune fans have been 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 October 2023.

Now that it is officially in pre-production, Dune: Part Two will hopefully be a title that is continuously in the news cycle. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest news and updates about the project, and for in-depth analysis about the conclusion of Part One and where the story goes check out our Dune Ending feature.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.