"Dune: Part Two" Is Pushed Back Until 2024 Amid Strikes; Here's What Else to Know
"Dune" was one of the biggest films of 2021, and its upcoming sequel is expected to follow in its footsteps. We know some about "Dune: Part Two," thanks to the trailers' releases on May 3 and June 29. Original stars like Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, of course, return as Paul Atreides and Chani, respectively. But another familiar face pops up in the clips: a bald Austin Butler, who we finally see in full as his character Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.
On Aug. 24, we got some more information, per Variety: Warner Bros. announced that the blockbuster would be delayed from its original release date, Nov. 3, back to March 15, 2024, amid the ongoing writers' and actors' strikes.
New details about "Dune: Part Two" were teased at CinemaCon 2023 a month before the movie's first preview dropped, particularly regarding Butler's role. The Oscar-nominated "Elvis" star was confirmed to be playing a villain (as his character is in the source material) by director Denis Villeneuve, who said, per Entertainment Weekly, "It was a privilege for me to bring Austin on board to ask him to play some kind of Olympic sword master, mixed with a psychotic serial killer. And I'm very proud of what he brought to the movie." The outlet also teased the first inkling of Butler's character being "hairless and pale," as were two members of House Harkonnen in the first film.
Other CinemaCon updates about "Dune: Part Two" included teased footage that showed Chalamet's Paul Atreides riding a sandworm for the first time (deemed a rite of passage) and a brief glimpse of Zendaya's Chani, though viewers will be pleased to hear she has much more screen time in this movie compared to the first installment.
"She's not just in dreams this time. . . . I only got a small time to learn who she was [in the first film], and now I feel like she's a part of myself," Zendaya said on stage at CinemaCon, according to EW. "Developing this love story where there's so much pain and stress and turmoil, and trying to find the balance of these two young people trying to grow up while there's so much pressure on top of that, being a warrior for your people . . . it was really, really special."
In February 2022, Villeneuve's adaptation of the 1965 novel "Dune" soared past $400 million in global sales, according to Deadline. The critical acclaim and widespread popularity of the film allowed for a second "Dune" to be greenlit back in October 2021, just days after the first movie's theatrical release.
Fans of the film are eager to see where the sequel continues the story from its predecessor (which ended on a cliffhanger). Villeneuve told "ET Canada" last year: "I cannot say nothing about the movie — I don't like to talk about projects as I am doing them — but it's probably going to be the biggest challenge of my career."
In addition to Butler, Zendaya, and Chalamet, "Dune: Part Two"'s star-studded cast includes stars like Florence Pugh and Léa Seydoux; neither appeared in the original.
Ahead, read everything we know about the next "Dune" film so far, from the cast to the release date.
"Dune: Part Two" Trailer #2
"Dune: Part Two" Trailer #1
"Dune: Part Two" Plot
The first "Dune" introduces Paul Atreides (Chalamet) and his noble family, House Atreides, as they travel to Arrakis, a dry, desert-like planet, where they've been tasked with harvesting a treasured commodity called spice, which is available only on Arrakis. Spice is highly valuable due to its incredible benefits, which include longevity of life and increased thoughtful awareness. It also facilitates space travel. But shortly after House Atreides arrive on the planet, they're attacked by a rival family, House Harkonnen, who lay siege to Arrakis.
"Dune" leaves off with Paul escaping the Harkonnens with his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), and after proving himself to Arrakis's native people, the Fremen, he joins them to bring peace to Arrakis. "Dune: Part Two" will follow Paul's journey and his rise to power among the Fremen tribe.
"Dune: Part Two" Cast
Most of the cast from the first "Dune" will be in the sequel. In "Dune: Part Two," Chalamet returns as lead character Paul Atreides. Along with him, the cast also includes Zendaya as Chani, Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Stellan Skarsgård as Vladimir Harkonnen, and Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck.
"Dune: Part Two" will also feature a handful of new faces, with Pugh starring as Princess Irulan, Butler as Feyd-Rautha, Seydoux as Lady Margot, and Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, Deadline confirmed.
"Dune: Part Two" Release Date
"Dune: Part Two" was originally scheduled for Oct. 20, and then Nov. 3. However, it's now pushed back until March 15, 2024, amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Will "Dune: Part Two"" Be Available to Stream on HBO Max?
"Dune" initially hit streaming giant HBO Max on Oct. 21, 2021, one day before its theatrical release. The second film isn't set to follow in its predecessor's footsteps, however. "Dune: Part Two" will not be available to stream right away and will instead have an exclusive theatrical release. Though it's unknown when the film will have streaming availability, movies usually have a 30-to-45-day window between their theatrical run and hitting streaming platforms.