Dune: Part Two trailer
Warner Bros

“THIS WORLD IS BEYOND CRUELTY. We’ve been fighting the Harkonnens for decades; my family’s been fighting them for centuries, and they were massacred alongside my father.” These are the tense words spoken by Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) at the very start of the second trailer of the highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, Dune: Part 2. Amid the dire circumstances House Atreides finds itself in at the conclusion of Dune (2021), the second instalment looks to be every bit as thrilling as the first.

The explosive second trailer, which Warner Bros. and Legendary released overnight, offers a lot in the way of what to expect from Denis Villeneuve’s rebooted masterpiece. While we know the crux of the film will follow Paul Atreides and his quest for revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family, we suspect there is a lot more to come as the story unfolds.

Here’s what we know so far as Dune: Part 2 edges closer to its release date.

What is Dune: Part 2 about?

Multiple things. Dune: Part Two will take on the second half of Frank Herbert’s original sci-fi novel, with the core of the film to follow Paul Atreides, the “chosen one”, who is on two simultaneous journeys. The first, to avenge the death of his father, Emperor Leto Atreides II (and the decimation of House Atreides at the hands of the emperor and House Harkonnen). And the second, to discover his true purpose, as he grapples with visions of his future greatness (and the fate of the universe). All the while, he must come to terms with his love with Chani (Zendaya).

“We really see Paul Atreides become a leader,” Chalamet said of his character at Comic-Con earlier this year. “A redeemer of the Fremen people in a sense.”

Teaming up with the mysterious blue-eyed Fremen, Paul must earn the trust of the desert inhabitants in a quest to take back Arrakis from the Harkonnens and the unknown emperor (essentially, the puppet master pulling all the strings from the shadows)…

But wait, didn’t the second trailer finally reveal who the mysterious Emperor is?

Dune: Part 2
Warner Bros.

Christopher Walken is the Emperor!

At last, we are finally treated to a first-look at the formidable Emperor Shaddam IV of House Corrino, played by none other than Christopher Walken. The veteran Hollywood actor is the perfect cast choice for the sinister Emperor, who we will learn a lot more about come Dune: Part 2.

Who else is joining the Dune: Part 2 cast?

Three significant additions to the Dune universe are revealed in the second trailer, including Austin Butler as the completely unrecognisable Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, a remorseless, “psychotic” warlord — “Austin Butler brought to the screen something that would be a cross between a psychotic, sociopath serial killer and Mick Jagger,” Villeneuve said upon the release of the first images.

Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot, a friend of the emperor and a member of the mystical Bene Gesserit; and Florence Pugh, who will play the Emperor’s daughter, Princess Irulan. Rejoining Chalamet and Zendaya will be Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Stellan Skarsgård.

Will there be a Dune: Part 3?

Fortunately, Villeneuve intends on making a Dune trilogy, with Part 3 being the third and final film. It would make a lot of sense, with the potential third film focusing on Frank Herbert’s 1969’s Dune: Messiah.

In a recent interview, the Hollywood mega director shared his hopes and dreams for a third (and final) arc to the Dune franchise, saying, “If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream.”

“I will say, there are words on paper,” he added.

Dune: Part Three would be based on ‘Dune Messiah’, the direct sequel to Frank Herbert’s 1965 original novel, ‘Dune’. Herbert wrote five sequels in total.

“’Dune Messiah’ was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero,” Villeneuve explained. “Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation [of ‘Dune’] is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.” 

When is Dune: Part 2 released?

While the original release date for Dune: Part 2 was November 2, the official release date has now been pushed back to March, 2024 amid the ongoing actors strike.