Sorry to those of you who look through the 2023 movies calendar and plan out your theatrical visits far ahead of time, but there’s been a major shakeup. Back in July, there was speculation that Dune 2, or Dune: Part Two, if you prefer, would be delayed as a result of the actors strike. Well, that has indeed happen, as the Denis Villenueve-helmed sequel has now carved out a new spot on the 2024 movies calendar, which has resulted in two other movies from Warner Bros. Pictures being pushed back.
Rather than opening in theaters on November, 3, Dune 2 now won’t arrive until March 15, 2024. This release slot previously belonged to Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, another Warner Bros./Legendary collaboration which has now been pushed back to April 12 of the same year. In response to that move, the April 12 slot’s previous occupant, the animated movie Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, will now come out on December 13, 2024 instead. What a domino effect!
As shared by THR, this round of delays stems from the actors strike not only shutting down numerous movie and TV productions, but also preventing many actors from promoting their finished projects. According to insiders who spoke with the publication, Warner Bros. was set to begin Dune 2’s marketing push in early September, which would have been complicated by the sequels stars, including lead actors Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, not being able to talk to the press. This also would have made an awards campaign more difficult; remember that 2021’s Dune earned numerous accolades, including six Academy Award wins and nominations in four other categories.
So at the last minute, Legendary and Warner Bros. decided to push Dune 2 into early 2024 in the hopes that the cast will be able to help promote it by that point. This is the second Zendaya-starring movie to be delayed within the span of a month, as Challengers will now open on April 26, 2024 rather than September 15. For now, Dune 2 has its March 15 slot to itself, though that will inevitably change. The prior weekend will deliver A Quiet Place: Day One and Kung Fu Panda 4 to the masses, and Disney’s Snow White live-action remake will follow the weekend after. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is also currently the only occupant in its new slot, while Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim will now open opposite the new Karate Kid movie.
Picking up immediately after the events of the first Dune movie, the sequel adapting the latter half of Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel sees Chalamet’s Paul Atreides teaming with Zendaya’s Chani, Javier Bardem’s Stilgar and the rest of Arrakis’ Fremen to seek revenge against the forces that destroyed his family. The Dune 2 cast also includes returning faces like Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård and Dave Bautista, as well as newcomers like Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken and Léa Seydoux. Behind the scenes, along with reprising his directorial duties, Denis Villenueve co-wrote the script with Jon Spaihts.
Once again, Dune 2 will now hit theaters on March 15, 2024. Continue visiting CinemaBlend for more updates on the sequel, including if it ends up being delayed yet again. Feel free to also stream the first Dune movie with a Max subscription (not to be confused with David Lynch’s Dune, which is available to Netflix subscribers).