Who’s in the cast of Dune: Part Two?
Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson and Javier Bardem will be back, alongside new additions Florence Pugh and Austin Butler.
When will Dune: Part Two be released?
The hotly anticipated sequel is set to land in cinemas on 20 October 2023, though a shift in the production schedule means a delay is possible.
What’s the plot of Dune: Part Two?
It should pick up where Dune left off, tracking Paul Atreides’s rise to power and his subsequent rebellion against Emperor Shaddam IV.
Those who survived Dune will return – and Zendaya will have a much bigger role
Timothée Chalamet will be reprising the part of Paul Atreides, the heir to a noble house who is heralded as a messiah, while Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård and Dave Bautista are set to join him as Lady Jessica, Stilgar, Baron Harkonnen and Glossu Rabban, respectively (Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto Atreides sadly perished in the first film).
Also back? Zendaya as Chani, one of the fierce Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis who appears in Paul’s visions and crosses his path for the first time towards the end of Dune. Despite only having seven minutes of screen time in the latter, viewers have been assured that the actor will be more prominent in the sequel. If director Denis Villeneuve cleaves closely to the source material, Frank Herbert’s best-selling sci-fi novel of the same name, it should see her guiding and protecting Paul, and eventually emerging as the story’s romantic lead.
“When I did the casting for Chani’s character, I met a lot of actresses,” Villeneuve told La Repubblica in August 2021. “Zendaya wanted to audition and today, after shooting the film and seeing what a wonderful actress she is, I’m sorry I auditioned her. It was just because I didn’t know her. However, that day, she impressed me and when she left the studio I knew that Chani was her, the young desert tiger. I am honoured to present two such explosive talents on screen [Chalamet and Zendaya] and I can’t wait to shoot the second part of Dune to get them back together knowing that in the next chapter Zendaya will be the [female] protagonist of the story.”
Florence Pugh and Austin Butler are in talks to join the cast
On 8 March, it was reported that Florence Pugh was being courted to play Princess Irulan, the Emperor’s daughter who marries Paul for political reasons. Pugh and Chalamet have, of course, played a couple before, in Greta Gerwig’s heartwarming adaptation of Little Women. But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, several obstacles still have to be navigated before a deal can be reached. Pugh is apparently waiting for the latest draft of the script and scheduling issues could arise if she also lands the part of Madonna in the upcoming biopic directed by the musical icon herself.
On 10 March, more news followed: Austin Butler, who’s poised to go stratospheric following the release of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, in which he stars as the titular King of Rock ’n’ Roll, was in negotiations to play Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, the nefarious nephew of Baron Harkonnen and his chosen heir.
Then, on 12 May, it was announced that Christopher Walken would be taking on the part of Emperor Shaddam IV, the ruler who felt threatened by Leto Atreides and so conspired with House Harkonnen to send him and his family to Arrakis. However, there’s still no word yet on who might be cast as Alia Atreides, the younger sister of Paul.
It should feature epic showdowns and Chalamet and co riding sandworms
Fans of Herbert’s novel have pointed out that Dune only covers approximately two-thirds of the tome, meaning there’s plenty of material left for the sequel. The first film ended with Paul joining the Fremen with the intention of bringing peace to Arrakis, so, assuming the second picks up where it left off, we should then witness Paul’s rise to power. When word of his greatness reaches Baron Harkonnen and the Emperor, they amass fleets around the desert planet and Paul leads the Fremen into battle on giant sandworms under the cover of an electric storm. We can hardly wait.
The release date could be delayed
On 7 November 2021, Collider reported that production for Dune: Part Two would begin on 18 July 2022, with the film due to arrive in theatres on 20 October 2023. But, at Deadline’s Contenders Film: The Nominees event in March 2022, one of the film’s producers, Mary Parent, announced that the schedule for filming had shifted from the summer to the autumn. It remains unclear if the release date will be pushed back as a result.
Additional Dune films could be on the horizon, too
Although Villeneuve has spoken about wanting to tell the story in two parts, he also told Entertainment Weekly that he “always envisioned three movies” and would be interested in adapting Herbert’s 1969 sequel Dune Messiah next. Let’s hope he doesn’t stop there.