Despite its extended runtime and in-depth world-building, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune only tells half the story of Frank Herbert’s original novel. Dune Part 2 is coming in 2023, and there have also been confirmations regarding who will be joining the Dune 2 cast.
As Villeneuve himself announced in a statement: “I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with ‘Dune: Part Two.’ 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.”
So where does the “Dune” franchise go from here? Below, IndieWire has rounded up all of the major details we know about “Dune: Part Two” right now. The rundown below will be updated as more news breaks related to the “Dune” sequel are released.
Release Date of Dune 2
Dune 2 is set for release on Nov. 17, 2023. The movie was originally scheduled for release in October 2023, according to Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. However, on June 30, 2022, Warner Bros. delayed the film slightly, pushing the release date back a few weeks to the middle of November.
Warning: Contains SPOILERS from the Dune books.
Dune 2 cast
While we’re technically still waiting for official confirmation of the cast, it looks like everyone is game to return given their responses to the sequel announcement.
In terms of the Dune 2 cast, Emperor Shaddam IV, who will notably be played by Christopher Walken, is perhaps the most anticipated character – but only because there’s been no news regarding any possible casting choices for the House Atreides battle pug. Moreover, some might argue that this honor belongs to Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen or Princess Irulan, who will be played by Austin Butler and Florence Pugh respectively. Meanwhile, Lady Margot, the Bene Gesserit wife of Count Hasimir Fenring, will be played by Léa Seydoux.
These are not the only new characters that viewers can expect to see in Dune Part 2. Notably, there’s been no news regarding who will play Alia Atreides, also known as Alia of the Knife. In the book, Paul’s sister Alia is a born prescient whose powers are awakened in the womb when Lady Jessica ingests the Water of Life. This happens during a ritual in which Jessica becomes a Sayyadina, a Reverend Mother to the Fremen. There have been rumors about Anya-Taylor Joy playing the role of Alia in the Dune 2 cast, although these rumors could be just as false as the ones about Harry Styles playing Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.
In terms of the returning cast, several key characters would have to return for Dune Part 2 to be a success. Not only would Timothy Chalamet’s Paul Atreides need to feature prominently, but figures such as Javier Bardem’s Stilgar, Zandaya’s Chani, and Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica will also need to play significant parts. However, should the film follow the book, some characters would not make return appearances. Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto, for instance, would not appear unless in flashback form after his death at the hands of the Harkonnens. On the other hand, Jason Mamoa’s Duncan Idaho gets resurrected as a ghola in the books, while Josh Brolin’s Gurney Halleck reunites with Paul at some point in the second half of Frank Herbert’s Dune – and they’re likely also part of the Dune 2 cast. The sequel will also reveal what happens to Stellan Skarsgård’s Baron Vladimir after he was poisoned by Leto’s tooth.
What is the Plot of Dune: Part Two?
“Dune: Part One” ends with Paul officially joining the Fremen and planning to bring peace to Arrakis. The film cuts to black as Paul and his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) travel with the Fremen to their home city. Paul spots one Fremen member riding a sandworm. Fans can definitely expect to see Chalamet riding a sandworm in “Dune: Part Two,” but what else is in store? A lot, actually.
If some viewers thought “Dune: Part One” was plot-heavy, then wait until they realize all the plot still to come in “Dune: Part Two.” The main narrative of “Part Two” will track Paul’s rise to power among the Fremen and the resulting rebellion against Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. The latter character, mentioned only in name in “Part One,” will be perhaps the biggest new role in “Part Two.”
Additional new characters include Princess Irulan, the Emperor’s eldest teen daughter who becomes Paul’s wife for political reasons, and Alia Atreides, the daughter of Lady Jessica and the late Duke Leto. The first “Dune” movie left out many of the book’s biggest twists, including Lady Jessica’s parentage, but we’ll keep those spoilers hidden for now. Suffice to say, there are many shocks to come in “Dune: Part Two.”