'Dune Part 2' Delayed

Warner Bros. and Legendary announced their new schedule for upcoming movie releases on Thursday, and sadly Dune: Part Two seems to have been delayed. The movie was previously expected to hit theaters on Oct. 20, 2023 but it has now been pushed back to Nov. 17, 2023. It's not clear if this was a strategic move to benefit Dune or one of the other movies in the slate.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two biggest moves announced this week were Dune: Part Two and the next film in the Godzilla-King Kong franchise. The latter is now scheduled to premiere on March 15, 2024 – three years after Godzilla vs. Kong released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max in 2021. That's a far longer gap than Dune fans are being forced to endure, although Dune reportedly earned less at the box office. Fans of the sci-fi adaptation are certainly not complaining.

Director Denis Villeneuve selected Dune as his dream project in spite of the long-standing fable that the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert was "impossible to adapt." A major part of Villeneuve's solution to that problem was to break the book into two feature films. He has said that he hopes to make a trilogy of movies – two for the first book and a third for the sequel, Dune Messiah.

Dune: Part One was lauded for someone enthralling fans both new and old without sacrificing much detail or immersion in its story. It set the bar high for Part Two, which must finish the story while introducing some of the characters and plot threads that were ignored in the first installment. That includes at least three high-profile new cast members.

First among them is Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, the young heir to House Harkonnen and a foil to the hero Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). The first movie did not mention Feyd-Rautha at all, though in the book he was a looming threat from the very beginning. Many fans are eager to see what Butler brings to this role, especially after his success in Elvis and his history in the sci-fi/fantasy novel adaptation genre.

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Part Two will also introduce the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, played by Christopher Walken, and his daughter Princess Irulan, played by Florence Pugh. Returning stars will include Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem. Dune: Part One is streaming now on HBO Max. Dune: Part Two is expected in theaters on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.