Although the sequel to “Dune” won’t be released until November, Warner Bros. gave us a sneak preview this week with the release of the trailer, raising our expectations for a major motion picture production. There is speculation that the film’s running time could reach three hours and fifteen minutes, notably longer than its predecessor which lasted two hours and thirty-five minutes. We will be watching to see if this lengthening finally materializes, and above all, if it manages to maintain the standard of quality established by the first part.
This long-awaited sequel continues the bifurcated adaptation of Frank Herbert’s influential 1965 novel, covering the second half of the plot. The impressive main cast includes stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Léa Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem, under the direction of acclaimed filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.
Preparation for this film began in October 2021, after the success of the first part was resoundingly confirmed. Just under a year later, in July 2022, filming began.
Legendary Pictures stated, “We could not have gotten this far without Denis’ extraordinary vision and the impeccable efforts of his talented team, our screenwriters, our wonderful cast, our partners at Warner Bros. and, of course, our beloved fans. Here’s to more Dune!”
A crucial aspect negotiated before greenlighting the sequel was securing its exclusive theatrical release, thanks to an agreement between Legendary and Warner Bros. that gives “Dune: Part Two” a 45-day exclusivity before it becomes available in other channels. Villeneuve noted that this theatrical exclusivity was a “non-negotiable condition,” as “the theatrical experience is at the very heart of the cinematic language.”
In an interview with Variety on March 14, 2023, “Dune: Part Two” costume designer Jacqueline West provided a preview of what’s to come:
“In the sequel, you’ll go deep into the different universes of Dune. We’ll visit the Emperor’s homeworld, tour his planet and spend a lot of time on Giedi Prime, the Harkonnen planet. We will also explore in detail the world of Stellan Skarsgård (Vladimir Harkonnen). In addition, we will have the brilliant performance of Austin Butler, as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. Viewers will be in awe.”
Villeneuve confirmed that the film would be a direct continuation of the first part, which he specifically defined as an “epic war movie.” He added that while the first installment was more “contemplative,” the second would be more action-packed.
Hans Zimmer, who composed the soundtrack for the first film, has been hired again for this sequel. Zimmer had already created over 90 minutes of music prior to the film’s announcement to inspire Villeneuve during the writing of the screenplay.
Fortunately for fans, the saga doesn’t end here. Although there is still time ahead, Villeneuve is already contemplating the possibility of shooting a third film based on “The Messiah of Dune,” the second novel in the series. Even the option of a television series is being considered, depending on the success of “Dune: Part Two”.