The Radio Times logo
We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Dune Part 2 release date, cast and latest news on sci-fi sequel

Fans of Denis Villeneuve's Dune will be getting a sequel.

Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet in Dune (2021)
Warner Bros
Published: Friday, 13th May 2022 at 12:30 pm

Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic novel Dune came out in October 2021, but that was only the beginning for the sprawling sci-fi adventure.

Advertisement

The first film was released to huge box office success despite the pandemic, and the studio promptly confirmed a sequel that will continue to explore the conflict building in the planet Arrakis.

Actor Josh Brolin, who played House of Atreides Warmaster Gurney Halleck, and whose life was left hanging in the balance, confirmed filming would begin in July during an interview with Live with Kelly & Ryan.

Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya are also due to return after the open ending of Part One. Whether there will be more films after that depends on how successful the sequel is, and how Villeneuve tackles differences between the Dune books and his film.

Joining the cast for the new film are the likes of Florence Pugh, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken!

In the meantime, read on for everything we know so far about Dune: Part 2, including its release date, returning cast members and plot details.

Dune: Part 2 release date 

Dune: Part 2 is due to be released in cinemas on 20th October 2023.

Filming is due to begin in July 2022.

The film will receive a 45-day exclusivity window in the US for theatres only before then being made available to stream.

This is unlike Part One, which was made available to stream in the US on HBO Max on the same day as its theatrical release.

Production company Legendary Pictures and studio Warner Bros confirmed the sequel film Dune: Part Two in October 2021.

Now that Dune's sequel has been confirmed, it appears that director Denis Villeneuve won't waste any time getting the ball rolling on a follow-up.

In fact, he told IGN that he “would be very ready to go quite quickly” after getting the thumbs up from Warner Bros, having already put a considerable amount of work into the script for the sequel.

He continued: “To go quickly into a movie of that size, you still need to make sets, costumes, so we are talking about months. But if ever there’s enthusiasm and the movie is greenlit sooner than later, I will say that I will be ready to shoot in 2022 for sure.”

Brolin confirmed this was the case, stating filming would officially begin in July.

While Dune: Part Two is set to complete Villeneuve's adaptation of the original book, that doesn't necessarily mean the film franchise will end there, as the director has also taken interest in tackling the sequel novel.

“There is Dune’s second book, The Messiah of Dune [aka Dune: Messiah], which could make an extraordinary film," he told CBC Radio Canada. "I always saw that there could be a trilogy; after that, we’ll see. It’s years of work; I can’t think of going further than that."

Dune: Part 2 cast

We can likely expect the following cast members and characters to appear in Dune: Part 2.

  • Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides
  • Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica
  • Zendaya as Chani
  • Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck
  • Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
  • Dave Bautista as Count Glossu Rabban Harkonnen
  • Stephen McKingley Henderson as Thufir Hawat
  • Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
  • Javier Bardem as Stilgar
  • Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen
  • Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corrino
  • Christopher Walken as Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV Corrino
  • TBC as Alia Atreides

It's all but guaranteed that Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson will return as Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica, who narrowly escaped execution in the first film.

They found refuge in a Fremen tribe that counts Stilgar (Skyfall's Javier Bardem) and Chani (Spider-Man: No Way Home's Zendaya) among its number, so expect both characters to reappear in the sequel.

The brutal destruction of House Atreides left the fate of some of its closest allies up in the air, but if Villeneuve stays loyal to the book then we'll likely see more from Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck) and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Thufir Hawat) too.

We can likely expect returns for the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), his nephew Count Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista) and the Emperor's truthsayer, Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling).

On the other hand, there were some major deaths that will take several big characters out of the running for now, most notably Oscar Isaac's Duke Leto, Jason Momoa's Duncan Idaho and Sharon Duncan-Brewster's Dr Liet-Kynes.

In the supporting cast, neither the traitorous Dr Wellington Yueh (Chang Chen) nor Piter De Vries (The Suicide Squad's David Dastmalchian) made it out alive, creating two more vacant positions in the large Dune ensemble cast.

It's a good thing too because Villeneuve has some important characters to introduce in Dune: Part Two, including Baron Harkonnen's capricious nephew Feyd-Rautha and the sinister Emperor, Shaddam IV Corrino.

Elvis star Austin Butler will portray Feyd-Rautha, Hollywood legend Christopher Walken will play the Padishah Emperor, while Oscar-nominee Florence Pugh will play his daughter, Princess Irulan Corrino.

Another character includes Paul's unborn sister, Alia Atreides, who will likely play a major role in the sequel and was glimpsed in visions in the first film.

Christopher Walken to play Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV Corrino

Christopher Walken attends the Screening of 'Heaven’s Gate' from Michael Cimino at Cinema Georges V as Part of 8th Champs Elysees Film Festival : Day Six on June 23, 2019 in Paris, France.
Actor Christopher Walken will portray the Emperor in Dune Foc Kan/WireImage

It has been revealed (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Hollywood legend Christopher Walken will take on the role of the ruler of the Known Universe as Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV Corrino.

In the first film, the Emperor was mentioned but not seen as he manipulated events on Arrakis to benefit the Harkonnens and destroy House Atreides.

The Emperor is in an alliance with Baron Harkonnen and is served by his Bene Gesserit truthsayer Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam.

We will also likely see the Emperor and his relationship with his daughter, Princess Irulan.

Florence Pugh to play Princess Irulan Corrino

lorence Pugh attends the world premiere of Netflix's "Don't Look Up" on December 05, 2021 in New York City.
Theo Wargo/WireImage

According to Variety, Black Widow star Florence Pugh is in talks to star in the sequel in the role of Princess Irulan Corrino.

The character is the eldest daughter of the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV Corrino and has been trained in the ways of the Bene Gesserit.

Princess Irulan plays a major role in subsequent Dune novels, so if these get adapted, we could see more films featuring Pugh as the character.

Austin Butler to play Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen

Austin Butler
Getty Images

Fresh on the heels of his turn as Elvis Presley in director Baz Luhrmann's biopic Elvis, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood actor Austin Butler is set to play Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, according to Deadline.

The character, who was absent from the first film, is the younger nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen who he has been grooming to replace him as the next head of the Harkonnen empire.

Feyd-Rautha is of a similar age to Paul and is seen to exhibit the cruelness that the Harkonnens are known for but proves to be something like an antithesis to our protagonist.

The role was famously portrayed by Sting in the David Lynch adaptation of Dune.

Dune: Part 2 plot spoilers

Dune poster
Warner Bros

*Warning: potential spoilers for Dune: Part Two*

The first Dune novel is split up into three parts – titled Dune, Mua'dib, and The Prophet respectively – with the 2021 film adaptation being an abridged version of the first two, meaning the story is far from complete.

The final section of Dune is in many ways the most action-packed, as with all his complex world-building out of the way, Herbert is able to put more emphasis on driving his story forward.

It seems like the same would be true of Villeneuve's adaptation, as the filmmaker alluded to hitting the ground running in a second movie and promising even more spectacle than the first.

“If such a thing as Dune: Part Two happens, I will say that it’s going to be an insane playground for me because I had the task to explain this world to the audience," he told Variety. "Now it is explained, it means I can just have fun with cinema."

Picking up where the first film left off, Part Two would likely begin with Paul and Jessica settling into their new life among the Fremen tribe Sietch Tabr.

After experiencing vivid visions of Chani for some time before arriving on Arrakis, the connection between herself and Paul only grows deeper, as they become a couple and have a child together.

Meanwhile, Jessica takes on the respected Bene Gesserit role of Reverend Mother for the Fremen she lives among, but doing so will require her to undergo a painful trial that threatens the life of her unborn child.

As Paul quickly rises through the ranks of the Fremen to become their leader, the stage is set for an epic confrontation between his forces and those of the Harkonnens who so brutally ousted them.

If you're wondering whether the film is a family watch, here is more information on Dune's age rating.

How many Dune films will there be?

As explained above, Villeneuve does not necessarily see his Dune film series ending with Part Two, having expressed interest in a trilogy incorporating Frank Herbert's second novel, Dune Messiah.

Now that the sequel has been greenlit, who knows? If Villeneuve gets his way we might see at least three films.

Additionally, there are a further four books after the initial two, although only the third includes the original central characters in prominent roles.

How many Dune books are there?

Frank Herbert wrote six Dune novels over a 20-year period. They are as follows:

Herbert's son Brian Herbert and author Kevin J. Anderson later collaborated on a further series of novels, with the latest set for release in 2022. They are as follows:

Prelude to Dune series:

Legends of Dune series:

Heroes of Dune series:

Great Schools of Dune series:

The Caladan Trilogy series:

See below for more on what happens in Frank Herbert's original Dune book sequels.

What happens in Dune: Messiah?

*Warning: Spoilers for Dune: Part Two**

Timothee Chalamet plays Paul Atreides in Dune
Timothee Chalamet plays Paul Atreides in Dune Warner Bros

Released in 1969, Dune: Messiah takes place 12 years after the events of Dune, where Paul Atreides – now known largely by his Fremen name Muad'Dib – has taken over as Emperor after tearing down the old regime.

However, his worst fears have come true, as by deliberately shaping himself as a messiah figure to the Fremen people, he has driven them to embark on a bloody religious war across the known universe, in which 61 billion people have lost their lives.

Now, the political houses and organisations that he displaced during his ascent conspire together to bring him down, identifying his lover Chani as a weak spot ready to be exploited.

What happens in Children of Dune?

*Warning: Spoilers for Children of Dune*

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica in Dune
Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica in Dune Warner Bros

Children of Dune is the third novel in Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi series, which Villeneuve is yet to express an interest in adapting to film.

However, if there's an appetite for more Dune stories after the completion of his proposed trilogy, it's not hard to imagine Warner Bros pushing ahead with adaptations of the later books in the series.

Children of Dune sees another time-jump, this time moving on nine years from the events of Dune: Messiah, which saw Paul wander into the desert blind, leaving his two children in the care of the Fremen.

However, they are not safe, as Paul's sister Alia is envious of the twins' for they have inherited their father's prescient visions of the future, while the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild are scheming to take the children for their own purposes.

This third entry in the Dune series sees a reduced role for Paul, as focus shifts to his children, Leto and Ghanima, while it also features a wildly different version of Arrakis, which has bloomed into a much more hospitable place.

However, this has come at the expense of the sandworms that inhabit it, putting the planet's spice production in peril.

Children of Dune was previously adapted into a three-part miniseries by the Syfy Channel, featuring James McAvoy and Susan Sarandon in the cast.

Is there a Dune: Part 2 trailer?

Not just yet – though if production starts at pace, we could potentially get a first look in late 2022 or early 2023.

Dune is released in UK cinemas on 20th October 2023. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight. 

Advertisement

The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content