Dune Part Two Is Set To Shoot This Summer, Denis Villeneuve Teases 'More Harkonnen Stuff'

"Dune" was, perhaps, the grandest sci-fi spectacle last year, which allowed both hardcore Frank Herbert fans and casual viewers a glimpse into the complex ecosystem of Arrakis. "Dune: Part Two" has been green-lit after the massive success of the first-parter, which earned multiple Oscar and BAFTA nominations (but the baffling absence of Denis Villeneuve in the Academy's Best Director category still has not sunk in for me).

According to an exclusive report by Empire, "Dune: Part Two" is set to shoot this summer, with a proposed release date of October 2023. The vast scale of Herbert's saga is yearning to be told, and with the return of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and the Fremen, the spice must keep flowing.

More Baron Harkonnen & Giedi Prime

"Dune" was more of a set-up for Herbert's intricate world, rife with ever-changing alliances, covert intentions, the scarcity of resources, and the exploitation of indigenous communities. This, of course, came with the challenges of character exploration vis-à-vis screen time, which can very well be remedied in Part Two. After all, "Dune" has perennially been an ambitious project to take on, as evidenced by David Lynch's divisive rendition of the sci-fi epic, and Alejandro Jodorowsky's failed, perhaps too idiosyncratic, attempts (which might have been a trip on its own right).

Speaking with Empire, Villeneuve confirmed his plans to shoot Part Two by the end of summer, while expressing his excitement about furthering the saga, along with his misgivings about the trajectory of the pandemic:

"We are supposed to shoot by the end of the summer. I will say it is mostly designed. The thing that helps us right now is that it's the first time I've revisited a universe. So I'm working with the same crew, everybody knows what to do, we know what it will look like. The movie will be more challenging, but we know where we are stepping. And the screenplay is written. So I feel confident. Frankly, the only big unknown for me right now is the pandemic."

Villeneuve also teased "more Harkonnen stuff," which would mean an expansion of the characters who inhabit the barren, industrialized city of Giedi Prime. Most importantly, we get a deeper glimpse into the motivations of Baron Harkonnen (although his primary goal is profit), along with the introduction of newer players, such as Feyd-Rautha, who is as cruel and treacherous as his uncle, and perhaps a more dangerous presence within the ambit of "Dune." Villeneuve further explained his plans for Part Two, which will potentially allow him "more flexibility" in terms of making bolder choices:

"When you adapt, you have to make bold choices in order for the things to come to life. And I think that was the best way to introduce this world to a wide audience. Now in the second one, I want to have more flexibility, and it will be possible to go a little bit deeper into some of these details."

Most of the principal past will be returning for "Dune: Part Two", which has a tentative October 2023 release date as of now.