The Hero’s Journey Continues in WB’s New Dune: Part Two Trailer

Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise ©2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name, Dune, gained the admiration of sci-fi fans and critics alike.  With a thrilling but incomplete third act, some were confused when the screen faded to black to reveal the end credits film title Dune: Part One. Thanks to box office success, critical acclaim, and award show respect, a sequel was green-lit to continue the sci-fi odyssey. The Dune: Part Two trailer continues its hero’s journey right where Dune: Part One left off.

Glimpses of characters familiar and new appear throughout. Florence Pugh’s Princess Irulan asks Part Two’s enticing question: “What if Paul Atredies was still alive?” Paul Aterides (Timothee Chalamet) is in hiding on the outskirts of Arrakis after the assassination attempt of House Aterides by the evil House Harkonnen.

After the death of his father, it is up to Paul to stand up for the Fremen tribes on Arrakis who are now vulnerable to the spice-controlling Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard). Paul must also reckon with his destiny as the “messiah” who will save the galaxy.  The trailer shows glimpses at his potential with a sneak peek of Paul riding a sand worm and leading thousands of Fremen into battle at the trailers conclusion.

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atredies in Dune: Part II, wearing a cowl and staring at the camera while on a sandy desert plain.
Paul Atreides (Chalamet) hoping to reach his full potential in Dune: Part Two. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise ©2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Oscar nominees fill the cast and the epic story chessboard. The Dune: Part Two trailer continues on with Atredies allies Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), Chani (Zendeya), Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), and Stilgar (Javier Bardem). The villanious Harkonnen side returns with the Baron and Rabban (Dave Bautista). Joining the sides of good and evil are the Emperor of House Corinno (Christopher Walken), Princess Irulan (Pugh), Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (Austin Butler), and Lady Margot (Lea Seydoux). Butler’s Feyd-Rauta adds yet another menacing character design to House Harkonnen. Hand-to-hand combat with Paul Atreides is teased at in the trailer, fresh with Paul’s anticipated blue-eye glow.

Villeneuve is now known for his visceral take on the sci-fi genre. His escalation with story size and scope have grown with ArrivalBlade Runner 2049, and Dune: Part One. His second trip to the world of Arrakis and beyond in the Dune universe appears to be more of the same.  He reunites with cinematographer Greg Fraser to compose images of vast sand dune vistas contrasted with interior close-ups bathed in shadows and mystery, their neo-noir influence showing through. Back again are his Oscar winning production, editing, visual effects, and costume design teams. Composer Hans Zimmer is also back and with accompanying music in the trailer. The continuity of Villeneuve’s previous vision is intact for Part Two and ready to raise the bar in storytelling.

Dave Bautista as Rabban in Dune: Part Two, weilding a weapon and girded for battle.
Oscar-winning production design returns for Dune: Part Two. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise ©2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Above all, the Dune: Part Two trailer previews what is to come for one of 2023’s most anticipated blockbusters. This franchise isn’t for every film goer or sci-fi fan. Nonetheless, fans of the first film one will enjoy seeing the main characters back in a familiar place. This hero’s journey template has introduced its characters and begun building the sights and sounds of Villeneuve’s Dune world. The trailer reinforces that start, teasing the action and setting establishing the new characters entering the story. This trailer entices without spoiling and prepares the audience for the franchise trajectory. Whether or not the film itself will provide a satisfying conclusion to the story established in Part One, we’ll learn this fall.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents the film by Denis Villeneuve based on the Frank Herbert novel Dune. Dune: Part Two stars Timothee Chalamet, Zendeya, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Rebecca Ferguson, Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Lea Seydoux, and Christopher Walken. Released only in theaters worldwide November 3rd, 2023.

Written by Seth Lamey

Film Studies graduate from Winona State University. Cinema management experience and multimedia film criticism/analysis work.

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