Dune 2 release date set for October 2023


Luca Galuzzi

After Dune left viewers with a cliffhanger last year, the anticipated sequel Dune 2 will be released on October 20, 2023.

Rikin Patel and Mitali Mittal

Spoiler alert!

With the announcement that Dune 2 is set to release October 20, 2023, fans are lucky the movie is being released within the next two years, especially after the first movie ended on an enormous cliffhanger. While ahead of possible sneak peeks, it’s time to revisit the Dune Universe to better prepare us for the eventual release of the movie.

From scrapped movie projects to miniseries adaptations, the complex interplanetary tales that make up Frank Herbert’s Dune masterpiece has been converted from book to television in more than one fashion over the 50+ years since its creation. The most recent movie attempt was Villeneuve’s Dune starring Timothee Chalamet. It premiered on HBO Max on Oct 22, 2021 and was adapted from only the first half of Frank Herbert’s first book of the Dune series.

The mom and son dynamic is still rare in overall works of fiction which made it refreshing to see in the cinemas. 

Herbert’s Dune series of six novels feature a mashup of environmentalism, religion, tribalism, and draw upon ancient cultures for inspiration. The story-line is jam-packed with clan-like Houses and Emperors that fight for control over a highly valuable and addictive substance known as spice. Because the substance is so critical to interplanetary travel and many value spice for its psychotropic and supernatural effects, whichever House controls spice production holds immense leverage over the other Houses, all of whom compete in an ever-lasting battle over planets, spice and commerce in the known Universe.

On the water-deprived desert planet called Arrakis, the planet’s indigenous population, the Fremen, are featured as the main group of resistance to external influences from other galaxies, such as the House Atreides and House Harkonnen. The main character of Dune, Paul Atreides, is next in line to rule the House Atreides that is currently ruled by his father Duke Leto and his mother Lady Jessica of the Bene Gesserit order. The people of House Atreides are portrayed as humans and reside on the ocean Planet Caladan, whereas the ruler of House Harkonnen, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and his people are portrayed as savage barbarians that dwell on the dystopian wasteland of Giedi Prime.

If you managed to understand the series’s setting, hats off to you. If you didn’t, there’s no need to worry. Director Denis Villeneuve’s vision for Dune 2 follows Dune: a slow paced but action-packed film that contains beautiful scenery, marvelous computer-generated visuals, and a storyline that is easy to follow.

The opening scene of the first movie features a voice over by Zendaya, one of the few largely promoted actors of the movie. But Zendaya’s screen time in the movie was disconcerting because she wasn’t featured until the last scene of the movie. Even so, it is certain that Dune 2 will contain many more scenes with Zendaya present.

The main character of the story, Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) was cast well in the movie. Chalamet’s acting was phenomenal and although he himself is 25 years old, his portrayal of a teenage character was fairly acceptable on the face-value. 

Unfortunately, Chalamet’s interpretation of Paul was of a stereotypical, clear-cut and confident guy, which made it extremely difficult for adolescent viewers to relate to Paul in the movie. In the Dune book, Paul was portrayed as more inexperienced when it came to ruling over the Atreides line and rather unsure about himself when making decisions that impacted him, his mother or the future of the House.

Another peculiarity was when it came to making his own decisions about his and his mother’s safety, Paul was able to make the right ones without fail, something Villeneuve could’ve diverged away from the original book series rather than sticking to every chapter Herbert wrote. Paul exhibited no sign of hubris which could have been a part of his personality as he had lived a privileged life when his father ruled over House Atreides.

On a more positive note, Dune featured a unique dynamic between its two main characters: a mom and son dynamic which, taken after Dune, is now somewhat common in modern science fiction, such as in “Lost is Space”. However, the concept is still rare in overall works of fiction which made it refreshing to see in the cinemas. 

With the movie Dune receiving a fresh Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer rating of 83%, many expect the sequel to follow in its footsteps. The storyline is already there. All Villeneuve needs is good directing on his part and good acting by his star-studded cast.

At a special awards screening for the first movie in November 2021, producer Mary Parent revealed that the sequel will start filming on July 18, 2022. That should give Villeneuve plenty of time to make sure the movie can meet all of our expectations. Dune 2 should start off right where the first ended: on that annoying cliffhanger that left us all waiting in anticipation for the movie’s release.