Dune: Part Two has been delayed to next year, due to the ongoing actors’ strike in Hollywood. After much consideration, the highly-anticipated sci-fi sequel starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya has been moved from its initial November 3 slot to March 15, 2024. The realignment from Warner Bros. and Legendary has also caused them to push back Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire — the latest in the Monsterverse franchise — by nearly one month, going from March 15 to April 12, 2024. The Dune sequel will get an IMAX release as well, with an earlier report noting that supported screens would be hosting the film for an extended run of up to six weeks.
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part 2 has turned out to be the biggest casualty of the SAG-AFTRA strikes since its star-studded cast — boasting the likes of Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Rebecca Ferguson — would be barred from serving any promotional duties or interviews for the film. The lack of actors — or potential nominees — would have proven challenging for the awards campaign as well, which is why the Emmy Awards have been delayed as well. The first Dune movie snagged six trophies at the Oscars and emerged as one of the biggest movies during the pandemic, grossing $402 million (about Rs. 3,323 crore) at the global box office. Given it has the potential to build out a franchise akin to Star Wars, it makes sense for WB and Legendary to hold out on its release.
However, by shifting the release date to March 15, Warner Bros. has put itself in a difficult position, as it sabotages another major release from the company. Oscar-winning filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s Mickey 17 starring Robert Pattinson is currently slated to hit theatres merely two weeks later, on March 29, 2024. This could negatively affect both of their box office numbers, as Parasite’s Oscar sweep in 2019 is bound to bring more eyes to Bong’s films now. Maybe we could see a repeat of the ‘Barbenheimer‘ magic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this film gets delayed as well.
Reports from last month suggested that Warner Bros. was considering shaking up its December release calendar due to the strike. However, the company has chosen to stick to those dates, regardless of the strike. So, another Chalamet-led film Wonka is out December 15, DC Comics’ Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom drops December 20, and The Color Purple releases Christmas Day in theatres. As per The Hollywood Reporter’s sources, WB is still committed to theatrical releases, even amidst the uncertainty of the Hollywood dual strikes organised by the WGA (The Writer’s Guild of America) and the aforementioned actors’ union.
Dune 2 picks up right where the first chapter ended, with Paul Atreides (Chalamet), Chani (Zendaya), and the Fremen soldiers uniting on a warpath of revenge against the Harkonnen lineage, the conspirators who killed Paul’s family. The sequel brings in some new faces such as Austin Butler as the cruel Feyd-Rautha, Pugh as Princess Irulan, Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, and Léa Seydoux as the Bene Gesserit Lady Margot.
Dune: Part Two is now slated to release March 15, 2024 in theatres worldwide.
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