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Film REVIEW: Dune: Part Two (2024) - ★★★★★

Brace for another sci-fi masterpiece as director Denis Villeneuve brings his insanely anticipated sci-fi sequel.

From Christopher Walken’s new villain to the sandworm-surfing scenes filmed in IMAX, here’s everything you need to know about Dune 2.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts

based on Dune by Frank Herbert

Stars: Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Lea Seydoux, Souheila Yacoub, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Themes: Desert Planet, Second Part, Dune

Paul Atreides unites with Chani and the Fremen while seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family.

The sequel to Dune (2021), it is the second of a two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert.

It received praise from critics. A sequel based on the novel Dune Messiah (1969) is in development.

In Cinemas Now - Also available on Sky Store to rent/buy


Stewart - ★★★★★

"A stunning sci-fi that continues on the world building, fantastic visuals, effects, costumes, production design etc and the cast are all fantastic - totally rooting for Zendaya and Austin Butler is a wicked new villain. Loved it! Though it is pretty long!"

Have you seen it yet?


Dune 2 buzz - Why is everyone talking about the new Dune movie?

Back in 2021, with the first Dune film, director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) drew us into a bewitching desert world of burnished skies, swirling sands and indelible heroes and villains, declared the “the best sci-fi movie of the decade” by Esquire and pretty much everyone else.   

We left that day with eyes wide, minds blown, a thousand unanswered questions and a clinical need to see Dune: Two immediately. Now, after two whole years in which Villeneuve left us to climb the walls with anticipation, it’s a pleasure to announce that your return flight to Arrakis will depart now.

It’s going to be another beautiful journey in the desert again,Villeneuve told CinemaCon. “It’s a movie that will be more cinematic.


Dune 2 plot - What happens in the Dune sequel?

Arrakis. A dust-blown desert planet of the distant future that makes Tatooine look like a day at the beach. A world roamed by monstrous sandworms and riven by feuding dynasties and crime lords grasping for power, wealth and above all, the precious powder known as spice that enables all life in the universe. 

The first Dune film felt like the opening moves of a chess game, with the good guys (House Atreides, led by Duke Leto Atreides and his heir Paul) seemingly given control of the spice-rich planet by Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV – but ultimately tricked and killed by the grotesque Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. The final frames saw Paul and his mother Lady Jessica joining Arrakis’s indigenous Fremen people in a bid to bring unity to the planet. 

Now, in Dune: Part Two, the political tinderbox explodes as Paul rises to power amongst the tribe, leads the charge against the slippery Emperor and finds a romantic spark with the Fremen warrior princess Chani. “Part One is more of a contemplative movie,” said Villeneuve. “Part Two is an action-packed, epic war movie.


Cast of Dune 2 - Who are the returning characters from the first Dune movie?

Most of House Atreides were slaughtered like lambs in the first movie and won’t return (no Force ghost-style resurrection for Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto). But there are significant survivors of the original Dune cast.

Timothee Chalamet's (Interstellar) Paul Atreides drew first blood at the end of the first movie, slaying a Fremen warrior in single combat to earn his place in the tribe.

I was younger when I did it the first time and was kind of blindsided by how big that movie was,” the actor told interviewers on the red carpet “And now, as Paul Atreides becomes more sure on his heels, I feel more sure on my heels, too.

We saw plenty of Zendaya during promotion for the first Dune movie – but the Spider-Man star actually featured for just seven minutes. For the sequel, she told The Hollywood Reporter, her dynamic with Chalamet will be a central theme. “I think something we can all relate to is love. These characters literally live on another planet, right? They’re aliens. It was interesting finding these tender moments in such turmoil and chaos. It was funny trying to figure out in this futuristic space talk, like, how do they flirt?

Based on Frank Herbert’s original 1965 Dune novel, we’re expecting Rebecca Ferguson’s (Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation / Fallout / Dead Reckoning) Lady Jessica to give birth to a daughter, Alia, with powerful Bene Gesserit abilities. Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War / Endgame) will also return as Gurney Halleck (now a member of a spice smuggling ring), while Javier Bardem (Skyfall) again plays wise Fremen leader Stilgar. Interestingly, the Nactor’s cryptic comment that we’ll “be surprised by the way they put it together” hints that Villeneuve might have played with the novel’s chronology.


Dune 2 newcomers - Which incoming stars should we look out for?

Some heavyweight names have joined the cast of Dune 2, and while we’d expect Bond star Léa Seydoux (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Spectre) to aid House Atreides as Bene Gesserit sister Lady Margot, most other new additions are dangerous to know.  

Florence Pugh (Oppenheimer, Black Widow) plays slippery Princess Irulan, while Christopher Walken (Catch Me If You Can, Click) does the drawling-bad-guy thing as her cruel father, Emperor Shaddam IV. “We are keeping a bit of things in the shadow,Villeneuve told Vanity Fair, “but it was very exciting for me and my team to have a chance to work with someone as iconic as Christopher Walken.


Dune 2 villain - Who will be pulling the strings in the Dune sequel?

Walken aside, the big bad (in every sense) is Stellan Skarsgård (The Avengers / Age of Ultron)’s Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. You’ll remember, Leto Atreides almost killed this corpulent crime lord with a booby-trapped tooth in the first film – but the villain recovered in the galaxy’s most disgusting bubble bath.  

Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) returns as the Baron’s brutal nephew Glossu Rabba – and tells Collider that Dune Part Two is “so much more cutthroat and political and intense”. Another major new antagonist is played by Austin Butler (Aliens in the Attic). Shaving off his Elvis quiff (and the rest), the actor trained with Navy Seals to play egghead Harkonnen warrior and Paul’s nemesis, Feyd-Rautha. 

It’s that thing of the bad guy who doesn’t feel like he’s the bad guy," said Butler. “He feels like he’s the hero of his own story.


Dune 2 sandworms - Can we expect to see more of the subterranean monsters in Dune: Part II?

Yes! Villeneuve told Total Film these Sarlaccs-on-steroids play a major role in Dune 2. “The relationship between the Fremen and the worm deeply moves me. The reverence, the deep, deep respect and at the same time, the spirituality that is linked with that beast. That balance between the Fremen culture and the ecology is at the heart of Dune Part Two.”


Dune 2 trailer footage - What have we learnt from the Dune 2 trailers so far?

The first Dune trailer was tantalising, but the second held even more revelations. We witness the tightening bond between Paul and Chani as they find love amongst the bloodshed, and also the prince’s reunion with former mentor, Gurney Halleck, who urges him to trust his visions and take control of Arrakis. The price of seeking power, however, is made clear by a brutal knife-fight against Butler’s milky-skinned assassin. 

Speaking of sandworms, the Dune 2 trailer gives us a taste of what will surely be a showstopper scene, as Paul masters the noble art of worm-surfing. “It’s going to be one of the most exciting and challenging scenes that I will have to do as a director,” said Villeneuve before the Dune 2 shoot began. He added in Variety: “That’s going to be one of the beautiful challenges of my life. And I know if I do it right, that will be the scene.” 

Another key moment is our first sighting of Walken’s Emperor. With his face lined with cruelty and hair in cotton-wool tufts, the legend’s debut is quite a moment. “Your father,” he hisses at Paul, “was a weak man.


Dune 2 IMAX - Why see this sci-fi sequel in IMAX?

Just like the original, we always knew Dune 2 would harness IMAX technology – and if you really want to feel the sand between your toes, IMAX cinema format is the one. “Greig Fraser [cinematographer] and I, we fell in love with this format,” said Villeneuve last year, “and definitely there will be – probably even more – IMAX footage in this movie”. The director confirmed as much at this year’s CinemaCon: “This time, it's full IMAX.


Dune sequels - Could there be a Dune: Part III?

The material is certainly there. No fewer than 25 Dune novels exist – including non-Herbert-penned spinoffs – and Villeneuve doesn’t sound like he’s ready to let this franchise go. “I always envisioned three movies," the director told Entertainment Weekly. “It's not that I want to do a franchise, but this is Dune, and Dune is a huge story. In order to honour it, I think you would need at least three movies. That would be the dream. To follow Paul Atreides and his full arc would be nice. Herbert wrote six books, and the more he was writing, the more it was getting psychedelic.”


Dune 2 age rating - Who can watch Dune 2?

In-keeping with franchise entry Dune, the BBFC have also given Dune 2 a ‘12A’ age rating, and should be fine for most of your family. Although, as we get to see Paul Atreides lead the Fremen in a war against House Harkonnen, be prepared for some moderate violence to ensue.


In cinema's now, experiencing this epic event movie with the big screen and surround sound is non-negotiable.

Besides, if you wait and watch it at home, you’ll have Denis Villeneuve himself to answer to.  

Frankly, to watch Dune on a television, the best way I can compare it is to drive a speedboat in your bathtub,” the director told Total Film.

For me, it’s ridiculous. It’s a movie that has been made as a tribute to the big-screen experience…

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