Director Denis Villeneuve has provided a promising update on the development of the highly anticipated sequel Dune: Part Two. While speaking on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, the filmmaker has revealed that the screenplay for the follow-up is nearing completion and that he is currently enjoying being at the more unfettered imaginative stage of production before moving forward with the more realistic stages of development.
“Right now, I’m in what you call ‘soft prep,’ meaning that we are finishing the screenplay. We’ll start storyboards soon. [Dune] Part 2 is being designed right now by [production designer] Patrice [Vermette]. It’s that beautiful part where it’s just dreaming, looking at the ceiling and thinking about the movie, I love it. I mean, it’s like the moment where everything is possible, before we have the shock of reality that will come.”
After some speculation that Dune: Part Two would never see the light of the day, the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was given the green light in October last year to a collective sigh of relief from fans. Following several delays caused by the ongoing global situation (the movie was initially due to be released in late 2020), the first Dune finally hit screens last September and was well received by critics for its visuals, scope, and ambition.
Starring an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem, Dune hurls audiences into the far future, dropping us into this adaptation of the complex world of Frank Herbert’s seminal novel.
Introducing Duke Leto Atreides as he accepts stewardship of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, “melange,” AKA “the spice.” Though Leto knows the opportunity is an intricate trap set by his enemies, he takes his concubine Lady Jessica, young son and heir Paul, and most trusted advisors to Arrakis, where a bitter betrayal leads Paul and Jessica to the Fremen, natives of Arrakis who live in the deep desert.
Since the debut of the first Dune, several details regarding the sequel have been revealed, with Denis Villeneuve explaining that Zendaya’s character, who only appeared briefly in the first movie, will step into the lead role. “I can’t wait to shoot the second part of Dune to get [Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya] back together,” Villeneuve revealed. “Knowing that in the next chapter Zendaya will be the protagonist of the story.”
Alongside Zendaya, fellow Fremen Stilgar, played by Javier Bardem, will also be given a much bigger role the second time around. For what it’s worth, the actor is hoping to ride one of the monstrous sandworms. “The only thing I’m asking is that I get to ride a sandworm,” Bardem said. “Denis told me he’s going to try to make that happen.”
Dune: Part Two is due to be released on October 20, 2023, with the movie expected to begin filming from July 2022.