What will be in DUNE 2?

Home » Books » What will be in DUNE 2?

by | Feb 5, 2023 | Books, Film & TV

Part two of the epic saga is due in November 2023

Spoilers aplenty ahead for Dune part one and two! Principal photography for Dune Part 2 finished in December 2022 having filmed across Hungary, Italy, Jordan, and the UAE. The movie will be in some pretty hectic post-production now until its release in November 2023.

More action, more intrigue, more politics

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune part one was a monumental and enthralling spectacle, but believe it or not it was only the intro. The rest of Frank Herbert’s novel that awaits to get to the screen is the main course in this sumptuous meal. Prepare yourself for more sandworms, Paul becoming more powerful, his sister being born fully cognisant of generations of Reverend Mothers experiences and wisdom, Gurney Halleck is back! The Fremen rise and Paul realise he has unleashed a holy war that will engulf the known universe. and that’s just scratching the surface.

Something that makes the books so good and refreshingly different from the mainstream is the absence of familiar sci-fi tropes and technology. For sure, we have shields, lasguns, interstellar travel, cloning and advanced tech, but it’s described in a way that concentrates on function rather than detail, so it never feels dated as many books written in the 60s can do. The saga is set thousands of years in the future after the human race was nearly wiped out by AI, a variety of political and religious dictates have banned any such technology being used again, so we have no computers, robots or internet. What we do have are human computers (mentats) and space travel empowered by humans transformed through the drug called ‘spice’. This not only opens the doors of perception but enables the untapped power of the human mind. With the drugs aid Space Guild navigators are able to ‘fold’ space and transport huge ships through the vastness of space. It is this drug that enables Paul Atriedes transformation into the Kwisatz Haderach, and turns his sister Alia into a fully aware Bene Gesserit mega mind in the womb.

This is of course informed speculation about the movie, but we know the plot and flow of the novel and that Villeneve has adapted the first part in a sympathetic way, with tweaks here and there, to take the story from page to screen in a fantastic manner. It is a unique and complicated story which weaves in themes of ecology, religion, colonialism, politics and philosophy. Villeneuve has done well to keep the feeling that there is an awful lot going on under the surface with every character. Expectations are high for part 2 as the first film only scratched the surface of the unque universe that Herbert portrays in the novels.

So here is what we can expect, based upon the novel obviously, but who knows how closely they will stay to the source?

Dune Part Two is a much bigger story than part one

The Bene Gesserit have spent generations seeding prophecies of a coming messiah through the galaxy, their aim being to create (basically through eugenics) a super-messiah who would be able to bridge time and space itself, and be under their control. Partly through Jessica disobeying their plans to give duke Leto a son instead of the daughter the sisterhood demanded, and that fact that these kind of master-plans tend to go spectacularly wrong, we end up with Paul Atreides being the Kwisatz Haderach that they wanted, but also the indepedant and free thinking leader they definitely didn’t want.

The Fremen as the indiginous population of Dune embrace this aspect of Paul and take him as their prophesied saviour. Something that Paul was unprepared for, despite his own prophetic dreams and visions. It is the spice drug that suffuses the air and sand of Arrakis that is the catalyst for Pauls true powers blossoming. This transformation in Paul opens his awareness to the desert, the Fremen and the sand worms that are the source of the drug itself.

So we have Paul and the Fremen stacked up against the imperial authority of the ruling houses and Emperor. A bit like Rome v the barbarians, except the barbarians win this one. The Fremen are more than a match for the imperial Sardaukar shock troops, and Paul is more than a match for the Harkonnens and the Emperor.

lady jessica atreides arrives on dune

Alia Atreides

Remember that Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) was pregnant in part one? She becomes a reverend mother of the sietch that they have been warily welcomed into. In the initiation ritual she takes a massive dose of spice and something that the Bene Gesserit are afraid of happens – being pregnant the drug alters the foetus and her daughter becomes fully aware of generations of reverend mothers that preceded her,  with access to their knowledge and wisdom. Labelled an abomination by the Sisterhood she goes on to play a pivotal role in the climax to the novel. No casting information has emerged about Alia, which is odd as several key characters have been announced – could her role be reduced somewhat in the movie? This would be a great shame as the character has a pivotal role, and we shouldn’t forget how creepy and cool she was in the 1984 David Lynch version of Dune…

dune 1984 alia

The Emperor and Princess Irulan

Early casting news revealed that Christopher Walken would be playing the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV and Florence Pugh had been cast as his daughter the Princess Irulan Corrino. The Emperor has been in the background pulling strings to wipe out House Atreides who he felt were in danger of gaining the support of other houses and challenging his rule. He conspired with the Harkonnens to do his dirty work for him. Walken seems made for this haughty and vain character.

Princess Irulan doesn’t have a huge part in the book, but is nonetheless a pivotal character. It will be interesting to see whether Villeneuve makes more of her part, with someone of the acting chops of Pugh in the role it could be excellent.

The Harkonnens, the Baron, Raban and Feyd-Rautha

The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (played by Stellan Skarsgård) is a decadent and ruthless manipulator of literally everyone and everything. He uses the standard toolkit of all despots, rape, murder, blackmail, you name it, he’ll do it. The Harkonnen’s have regained control of Arrakis and are tightening their iron grip of oppression to control the flow of Spice from the planet – the literal allegory of oil for the spice in our own world is overwhelming. Especially relevant today as Shell has reported their biggest ever profits as we all try to cope with a cost of living crisis.

The ace that the Baron has up his sleeve (as far as he thinks) is his nephew Feyd Rautha, a Harkonnen pretty boy and perfect fit as a more amenable replacement for the ‘Beast’ Rabban. Feyd Rautha is being played by the charismatic Austin Butler (Elvis), It won’t end well.

gurney halleck and paul atreides

More great tech

The production design of part one was phenomenal, Herbert was pretty wooly on the practicalities of the tech he described. The ornithopters for example, in the novel they are described as having insect like wings, for David Lynch’s 1984 movie thay just dodged the issue and made them a floating box, but Villeneuve’s movie fully leans into the analogy and we get dragonflies crossed with Apache attack helicopters – a perfect rendering of Herbert’s vision.

The final showdown with the Fremen riding sandworms into battle should be immense, but we also want to lean into the trippy weirdness that is peppered throughout the books. Let’s not forget that the plot is propelled by drug induced insight and wisdom!


When can we expect a trailer for Dune Part Two?

With live filming complete and post-production well under way we could reasonably expect to see the marketing campaign begin to ramp up in the Spring. Expect a teaser as early as April or May with a full trailer following once the VFX work is approaching completion in the Summer.

Written by Iain Hazlewood

Related Posts

Netflix are cashing in on Peaky Blinders

Netflix are cashing in on Peaky Blinders

Prequels, sequels and spin-offs Netflix seems intent on turning their successful content into franchises, one supposes that they have been watching Disney and Warner Bros and want a slice of the 'cinematic universe' pie. Streaming is all about...

Read More
Dune Part 2 Trailer 3 Breakdown

Dune Part 2 Trailer 3 Breakdown

The Dune 2 Latest Trailer The much delayed Dune 2 will be released (barring any more strikes) in March 2024, promotion is ramping up with the cast starting the press tour and a new trailer, that showcases some of the action we can expect in Denis...

Read More
Furiosa Trailer, George Miller Delivers Again

Furiosa Trailer, George Miller Delivers Again

The much anticipated trailer to Furiosa is finally here! And boy, does it deliver... https://youtu.be/XJMuhwVlca4?si=9AAp6iHRFxDQdsJh   So this is the backstory of Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road, a truly powerful warrior of...

Read More
Invasion – More dull sci-fi from Apple TV

Invasion - More dull sci-fi from Apple TV

Dull aliens invade Earth and dull people react to it The premise was OK, aliens land on Earth and we are shown the effects of it from the POV of a disparate group of people around the world. Invasion gives us hints of what the aliens are after and...

Read More