The sands of Arrakis call out again as Dune: Part Two begins principal photography. The news was confirmed on the film's Instagram page, and the roar of excitement can surely be heard several galaxies away.
Denis Villeneuve's staggeringly ambitious Dune saga has split Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel in two. The first instalment, released in 2021, opened our eyes to the majesty of the desert planet Arrakis, and eventually scooped six Oscars.
Dune: Part Two picks up where the first part left off. The fugitive Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), along with his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) has found his place among Arrakis' native population, the Fremen.
Paul begins to embrace his destiny as the 'mahdi', the chosen one who will lead the embattled and oppressed Fremen to liberation. At the same time, he comes to terms with being the 'kwisatz haderach', the first male member of the sacred Bene Gesserit bloodline.
In short, one guy portends a lot of change in the known universe. And Dune: Part Two opens the taps on the remaining cast of characters whom we've not yet seen.
Florence Pugh plays Princess Irulan whose destiny becomes entangled with that of Paul. Christopher Walken plays the scheming Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, Lea Seydoux is Lady Margot and Austin Butler is the deadly and lithe Feyd Rautha, nephew of the monstrous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (a returning Stellan Skarsgard).
Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem are back from the first film as Gurney Halleck and Stilgar, respectively. It's one hell of a cast for one hell of a story, and should Denis Villeneuve pull it off, we could be graced with one of the greatest cinematic sci-fi sagas of all time.
Might we even get Dune: Messiah, an adaptation of Herbert's second Dune book, in the not too distant future? Villeneuve has expressed enthusiasm about adapting the story, so we pray to Shai Hulud that it will be so.
Dune: Part Two is scheduled for release on 17th November 2023. Can't wait that long? Remind yourselves of the first movie's atmosphere with this extract.