'Dune: Part Two' Trailer Introduces New Stars Austin Butler, Florence Pugh

The first official trailer for Dune: Part Two is finally here to sweep fans away on a wild sand-worm ride. The sci-fi sequel sees the return of Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson and Javier Bardem, while introducing new stars Florence Pugh, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken. Two out of the three newcomers to the franchise got some time to shine in Wednesday's trailer.

The trailer takes viewers back to the same Arrakis depicted in the first movie and builds on the characters and melodrama we saw there. It shows Zendaya getting much more screen time than she got before – answering one of fans' biggest complaints about the first movie – and Paul coming into his role as a leader and a living legend. It gives us a few glimpses of Butler but no hint of his vocal performance, while it shows Pugh taking on more than her character took on in the book. Sadly, we did not get to see Walken at all yet. Fans are eagerly waiting to see how the actor will play the role of a galactic emperor, but that anticipation may be intentional. Even without seeing him, Dune: Part Two remains one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

Dune premiered in 2021, adapting the first half of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel of the same name, and Dune: Part Two will adapt the rest of that story. It picks up with the cast-down duke of Arrakis Paul Atreides (Chalamet) and his mother Lady Jessica (Ferguson) living among the Fremen, including their leader Stilgar (Bardem) and Paul's budding love interest Chani (Zendaya). The antagonistic House Harkonnen returns, including Dave Bautista as the violent Glossu Rabban and Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Butler joins the cast as the baron's heir, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, a character who was conspicuously missing from the first movie.

Walken and Pugh will play more distant characters – the galactic Emperor Shaddam IV and his daughter, Princess Irulan Corrino. However, if the movie follows the book as closely as its predecessor, these two should become much more important by the end of the story. While most of the movie took place on the desolate desert planet Arrakis – a.k.a. Dune – it was still a story of inter-planetary politics. The three houses Atreides, Harkonnen and Corrino are all struggling for military dominance, social status and economic control of the resources on Arrakis.

For many fans, this movie will be the culmination of Herbert's writing. The author first published Dune as a serialized story in several magazines before compiling it as a novel. In the years that followed he wrote five more books in The Dune Chronicles, with stated plans to write more. He passed away in 1986, but his son Brian Herbert teamed up with author Kevin J. Anderson to write more books based on Herbert's original notes. There are now 17 novels in addition to Herbert's original six.

This has caused some division within the fandom about where the "real" story starts and ends. For some fans, even Herbert's six novels are too much. Director Denis Villeneuve himself has expressed interest in adapting Herbert's second novel, Dune Messiah, but has not said anything about adapting the other four books – much less the ones by Brian and Anderson. However, HBO Max has announced plans for a prequel series called Dune: The Sisterhood that seems to be based on Brian and Anderson's prequels, depicting the formation of the Bene Gesserit order.

For now, fans can go into Dune: Part Two expecting a much more climactic ending than the first movie and perhaps a sequel if Villeneuve gets his way. The movie premieres on Nov. 3, 2023 only in theaters. The prequel series is currently on a production hiatus.