Despite being delayed a number of times due to the pandemic and a general pre-release skepticism surrounding it, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune ended up being a well-liked film when it dropped in 2021. And even with a same day release on then-HBO Max, it ended up making a $402 million in theaters and securing several nominations and wins during the awards circuit. So it wasn’t surprising when Warner Bros. gave the green light for a sequel to be made and set for a late 2023 release.
All the way back in 2021 when the sequel was first announced, Warner Bros. staked an October 20, 2023 release date for Dune: Part Two. But like its predecessor, it couldn’t help but being delayed: first to November 17, then to November 3, both as WB tried to account for fluctuating releases from other studios, namely Marvel’s Blade (then primed to release on November 3) and The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and Trolls 3 (both hitting on November 17). A bit disappointing, but hey, at least we got a trailer and poster to make up for it, right?
Then the Hollywood strikes happened, and everything got thrown out of whack. Unwilling to cede ground to the striking writers and actors, WB and other studios decided to push a number of their late 2023 releases into 2024, Dune included. The sequel is now set to release in March 2024—at least, at time of writing and assuming another delay isn’t in the works should the actors continue striking. (In a few days, the WGA will have reached an agreement with studios a full month ago.) The film’s latest trailer was all the way back in late June, and WB has pretty much been quiet about it since—lead actor Timothée Chalamet only recently opened up about the film, and that was from an interview conducted months before the strikes began.
Regardless of when it ends up coming out, Dune: Part Two will end up being a big deal, simply because it’s a big movie starring a bunch of hot ticket actors like Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, and Austin Butler. But it’s interesting to see how delays and circumstances outside of the control of those working on it have ended up being a part of the legacy of these new Dune films. Hopefully it doesn’t continue to be a trend if more of Frank and Brian Herbert’s novels end up being adapted for the big screen.
Dune: Part Two is currently scheduled to release solely in theaters on March 15, 2024.
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