Dune: Part Two’s First Look & What To Expect From The Second Film

Dune: Part Two’s First Look & What To Expect From The Second Film

The first look images for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two have been released, and they’re stunning. Among the returning characters are a few others, being introduced for the story’s epic second installment. After the outstanding critical reception of the first Dune movie, audiences are no doubt eagerly anticipating the second.

Dune is one of the most famous sci-fi epics in the world. Frank Herbert’s original novel, published in 1965, has spawned a whole series of books. It’s set on the desert planet of Arrakis, home of a vitally important resource known as spice. Previously considered impossible to adapt for the screen, Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 movie adaption of Dune has been one of the most successful cinematic versions to date. The first Dune movie covered only the first half of the story, and at the time no one was sure if the second half would ever be greenlit. The strongly positive critical response, including several awards, meant that Dune: Part Two was guaranteed. The first images of the movie, courtesy of Vanity Fair, hint that the story’s conclusion will look every bit as impressive as the visuals from the story’s first installment.

How Dune: Part Two Will Continue The Story

Princess Irulan in Dune: Part Two

Villeneuve stresses what readers of the novel will already know. Dune: Part Two is not a sequel, but the second half of the story. The first movie ended with protagonist Paul Atreides fleeing from the massacre of his family, taking refuge with his mother in the desert among the Fremen people who live there. Part 2 continues exactly where the first movie left off, with no time skip.

The second half of Dune is set to show how Paul must join the Fremen and become part of their culture. A difficult task for his mother, Lady Jessica. As one of the mysterious Bene Gesserit, the Fremen consider her an enemy of their people. During the story, he must learn to ride the fearsome sandworms which roam the planet. Only then will he be powerful enough to claim his revenge. In the meantime, the murderous Baron Harkonnen learns of the possible rebellion being led by Paul. They amass a military force to try and crush the Fremen, but in a strained and deeply distrustful alliance. Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), working on behalf of the emperor, suspects that the power-hungry Baron Harkonnen intends to seize the planet for himself. Planet Arrakis is, after all, essential to space travel. Whoever controls this world will ultimately control the entire empire.

Dune: Part Two Is A Love Story

Chani and Paul Atreides sharing an intimate moment

At the heart of the story told in Dune: Part Two, is a romance between Paul Atreides and a Fremen woman named Chani. The plot is driven by a combination of Chani’s need to protect her homeworld and its environment, together with Paul’s desire for revenge. Villeneuve is placing this storyline at the heart of the plot, to ensure the conflict in the story remains deeply compelling.

Zendaya, who plays Chani, has commented on how difficult this was to accomplish. How a character like Chani would even behave in a romance was seemingly a confusing task for everyone involved. For two characters as vastly different as a desert warrior and a space noble, their story is certain to be endearingly clumsy. With the two being from opposing factions, their story is one of seeing past differences. This will make for a compelling aspect in a broad and complex story like Dune.

An Epic War Movie With A Human Heart

The warrior Glossu Rabban with a bloodied weapon.

Villeneuve has mentioned how he “wanted to make a very human movie.” This feels like the right decision, particularly in a story as vast as Dune. Encompassing a planet, with repercussions that span a galaxy, it could easily feel too abstract to be investing. All the best stories are, at the end of the day, about people. The struggle for both Paul and Chani to adapt to their new circumstances together, even amid chaos and turmoil, will likely make Dune: Part Two a compelling adaption for audiences.

At the same time, the opposing side is also filled with very human struggles. The villainous Baron Harkonnen is motivated by greed and a thirst for power. With his failing health though, the question is who will inherit his power. This causes rivalry between his possible successors, the lithe and deadly Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen and the brutish Glossu Rabban. Meanwhile, at odds with them in the power struggle, is Princess Irulan. All of these interpersonal conflicts underpin the inevitable explosive battles which erupt toward the story’s conclusion.

How The Story Of Dune Can Continue after Part Two

Paul Atreides' mother, Lady Jessica of the Bene Gesserit

Writer-Director Denis Villeneuve has spoken openly about how adapting Dune for the big screen is a childhood ambition of his. This ambition may not end with Dune: Part Two either. Villeneuve has mentioned previously that he has plans to continue the movie saga, with a trilogy already planned out (via Collider). The third in the series would be an adaption of the sequel novel Dune Messiah. Whether or not he and screenwriter Jon Spaihts decide to continue after that is a question which, understandably, neither is ready to decide yet. If not, another director could choose to take on the task. But this is still just speculation, and they’d have a difficult task following Villeneuve’s distinctive cinematic style.

Another place where Dune adaptions may continue is in TV shows. One, Dune: The Sisterhood, is already in production as a prequel to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. The universe of Dune is expansive and complex, with a galaxy of stories that can still be taken to the screen. With Dune and Dune: Part Two, the bar has been raised, but there will no doubt be someone willing to try and make that jump. For now, audiences must wait for the release of Dune: Part Two. It seems likely that their patience will be rewarded with a satisfying movie.

Dune: Part Two releases in theaters on November 3, 2023.the murderous Baron Harkonnen

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