Deserted: Dune 2 delayed until 2024 amid actors’ and writers’ strikes

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune sequel has officially been delayed until 15 March 2024, Warner Bros announced Thursday (24 August).

The news comes amid a historic Hollywood shutdown as the actors’ and writers’ guilds are both currently on strike.

A delay until 12 April 2024 was simultaneously announced for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which was previously set for 14 March that year.

Meanwhile, the studio’s big December 2023 releases are staying put for now – they are Wonka (15 December), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (20 December) and The Color Purple (25 December).

Just one month ago, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said that reports of Dune: Part Two being delayed were “not true”. “I feel quite strongly that it’s not going to move,” he said of the film’s previous 3 November 2023 release date.

Timothée Chalamet plays the lead role of Paul Atreides in the film franchise based on Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi book saga of the same name.

New cast members to join the sequel include Oscar nominee Austin Butler, who is unrecognisable as the fearsome Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, younger nephew and heir of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård).

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in ‘Dune: Part Two’ (Niko Tavernise/© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved)
Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in ‘Dune: Part Two’ (Niko Tavernise/© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved)

Léa Seydoux also joins the cast as Lady Margot, a Bene Gesserit, as does Souheila Yacoub as a Fremen warrior and Tim Blake Nelson.

Reprising their roles from the 2021 film are Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling and Stephen McKinley Henderson.

Shortly after the “jaw-dropping” first trailer was unveiled at CinemaCon this year, Zendaya reassured fans about her screen time in the forthcoming film.

“She’s not just in dreams this time,” the actor said, hinting at previous complaints about her limited appearance in the first movie, despite the promotion leading heavily on her role.

Villeneuve has described the sequel as “an epic war movie” and “much more dense” than the first.

Dune: Part Two will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family,” the film’s official logline reads.

“Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavours to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.”

The actors’ strike is currently in its second month after the 160,000 member-strong SAG-AFTRA union voted to join striking Hollywood writers who are fighting for better compensation and assurances that they will not lose work to artificial intelligence (AI), among other demands.

In a recent interview, Pose star Billy Porter said that he had already had to sell his house as a repercussion of the strikes.