‘Dune: Part Two’ raises expectations with its star-studded cast and action-packed story

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Photo by Warner Bros.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the first film of the Dune series, “Dune: Part One”, aired in 2021 and became one of the most acclaimed films in recent years, earning a revenue of $400 million and winning six Academy Awards.

After almost three years, the second film of the series, “Dune: Part Two”, is gearing up to bring millions of viewers from around the world, including many UNLV students, back to the Dune universe once again.

“Based on what’s been shown in the trailers and the anticipation for what comes next, I can easily say that I’m very excited for the second Dune movie,” says UNLV student Alex Rushton.

“Dune”, which sheds light on humanity approximately 20 thousand years into the future and blends interplanetary power wars around topics such as religion, politics and society, first appeared before science fiction enthusiasts as a book in the 1960s.

The 6-book series, written by Frank Herbert, has been adapted into films and miniseries over time. However, none of these adaptations were as successful as Villeneuve’s 2021 film.

Villeneuve was one of the well-known directors for many years, with successful films like “Arrival”, “Prisoners” and “Enemy”. “Dune: Part One”, featuring the successful director along with stars like Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, and Oscar Isaac, once again propelled the “Dune” wave to spread worldwide.

The first part of the series depicted a tale of power, politics, religion and much more through the eyes of a young man named Paul Atredies, whose family holds the governance of a powerful planet called Arrakis.

In the movie, where humanity lives in a completely different era in terms of time, space, social relations and technology, Paul is the son of a noble family ruling over the planet Arrakis. The planet possesses a highly valuable resource that other planets do not have. When foreign invaders seek to seize this resource, Paul finds himself struggling to reclaim his and his family’s land. 

Nominated for dozens of awards, including the Oscars and BAFTA, and bringing home six Oscars, the first film concluded by signaling young Paul Atreides’ upcoming battle for justice for his family and his people.

“Dune: Part Two”, which is expected to be released in theaters soon, will continue the story from where it left off and narrate Paul Atreides’ journey as he strives to achieve justice for his family and people.

In a written interview, Rushton, a huge fan of the series, shared their feelings about the series. Before discussing the new film, Rushton described the first film as follows: “I honestly really enjoyed the first Dune movie! The world-building and story within the Dune book are extensive yet the film did a great job of condensing the narrative down while preserving most of the important lore to create a story that is enjoyable and easy to follow even if you haven’t read the book. That paired with the great acting and special effects all together created an incredibly entertaining film that I would recommend to any sci-fi fan!”

Rushton mentioned that despite differences between the film and book series, such as the perspective from which the story is told, they enjoyed how the story was portrayed on screen (spoilers ahead), “Overall I enjoyed how the characters were portrayed in the film the most. All the actors did such a great job of making the characters feel both real and interesting. The film made me either really love or really hate the characters and I was genuinely devastated when Leto died.”

For the second film of the series, Warner Bros Pictures has released three trailers so far, and the trailers have garnered over 60 million views in total. As the release date of the movie approaches, this number continues to increase rapidly.

In addition to the trailers showcasing vivid scenes from the second movie and the beloved universe of “Dune”, another factor heightening expectations for the sequel is its cast. Joining Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in the second installment of the series are renowned actors such as Austin Butler, known for his role in “Elvis,” Florence Pugh, acclaimed for her performance in “Oppenheimer,” and Anya Taylor-Joy, star of “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Rushton said, “The complete black and white shots from the trailer alone really caught my attention and I really hope to see more creative cinematography to go along with the story in the film. Overall I’m very excited to see how the second movie manages to tell the next part of this amazing story.”

As Villeneuve emphasized during the CinemaCon event held in Las Vegas in 2023, “Part One is more of a contemplative movie. Part Two is an action-packed, epic war movie,” so fans can expect a completely different journey from the first movie.

“Dune: Part Two” is once again preparing to take millions of fans from all over the world back to the Dune universe. The film will be in theaters on March 1.

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