Before Australia has even gotten the opportunity to experience Denis Villeneuve’s magnum opus, Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros has officially – not to mention, quite unsurprisingly – approved Dune: Part 2 with a scheduled release date of October 20th in 2023.
The sci-fi epic is winning on every front that matters: hype, commercial, and critics. Opening in certain markets this past weekend – both theatrical and streaming – the Timothée Chalamet-led film has earned over US$41 million over in the US and near US$225 million globally (roughly in line with Warner Bros’ initial projections). And then there’s the matter of the eight-minute standing ovation it received during its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Even without witnessing it firsthand, it’s hard to imagine a timeline where a Dune sequel wasn’t inevitable.
“I wanted at the beginning to do the two parts simultaneously,” Denis Villeneuve previously told Variety.
“For several reasons, it didn’t happen, and I agreed to the challenge of making Part One and then wait to see if the movie rings enough enthusiasm.”
“I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with Dune: Part Two,” the director later added.
“It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune – and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros to thank for supporting this dream.”
“This is only the beginning.”
“The story in itself sets up for a sequel,” says Ann Sarnoff, CEO of Warner Bros.
“The production is so amazing and the storytelling is so compelling that it’s not going to be judged on box office alone.”
Given the Frank Herbert novel’s troubled history of being translated onto screens – earning itself a place among the most “impossible” books to adapt, next to Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and Ulysses by James Joyce – many were understandably exercising a measure of caution. If anyone was going to meet expectations, however, it’d be an auteur like Denis Villeneuve; in “dazzling”, “spectacular”, and “out-of-this-world” fashion.
In addition to Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Dune will star Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck – House Atreides’ weapons master, mentor to Paul; Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho – House Atreides’ swordmaster, another mentor to Paul; Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen – the man formerly charged with supervising planet Arrakis, sworn enemy of Leto; Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban – Baron Harkonnen’s nephew, the physical type of adversary; Zendaya as Chani – Paul’s mysterious native Arrakis love interest; and Javier Bardem as Stilgar – leader of the native Arakis tribe.
Adapted for screens by a collaboration of Villeneuve himself, Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange, Passengers), and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Insider, A Star Is Born); the cinematography has been accomplished by Greig Fraser – who you will have probably encountered in Zero Dark Thirty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and soon enough in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Hans Zimmer has composed the score after turning down Tenet for this gig.
Dune: Part 1 is currently slated for a December 2nd release date here in Australia; Dune: Part 2 is set for October 20th of 2023.