Dune Part 2 Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

Dune Part 2 Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

The sands of Arrakis continue to shift, and the epic sci-fi saga unfolds once more. In an exclusive behind-the-scenes feature, director Denis Villeneuve and a constellation of stars—Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler, and Florence Pugh—reveal the inner workings of Dune: Part Two, the highly anticipated sequel to the cinematic sensation that left audiences craving more.

The first movie was a sensation, but it was only half the story. Now, director Denis Villeneuve and his hand-picked stars break down their epic sci-fi sequel.

Timothée Chalamet is thinking ahead. Fresh off proving his song-and-dance chops with Wonka, the 28-year-old global superstar is ready to show the world what Paul Atreides can do in the highly anticipated Dune sequel. But his eyes are also on the horizon.

Dune Part 2 Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

Chalamet, clad in all black, shows up to Entertainment Weekly’s cover shoot for Dune: Part Two at a Beverly Hills hotel with a Bluetooth speaker, blasting Bob Dylan’s album Blonde on Blonde. The actor is set to play the iconic Minnesota musician in an upcoming biopic, and it won’t be the first time Chalamet has tackled a character with messianic ambitions. 

The first installment of Dune introduced us to the desert planet, its mystical spice melange, and the fierce power struggles. But it was only half the story. Now, as the curtain rises on Dune: Part Two, we delve deeper into the heart of Arrakis. Villeneuve, known for his visual mastery, promises a grander canvas, richer character arcs, and revelations that will leave fans spellbound.

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

Paul isn’t alone in this fight, but he doesn’t know all his enemies yet. Flanking Chalamet at the early February cover shoot are Zendaya (returning from the first film as the Fremen warrior Chani), Florence Pugh (making her debut as Princess Irulan, heir to the throne of the universe), and Austin Butler (playing Paul’s opposite, the dark prince Feyd-Rautha). These four young stars feel like the future — not just of this franchise but blockbuster cinema itself. 

Also Read: Anya Taylor Joy confirms secret Dune Part 2 role. She says it’s a dream come true.

“They’re superpower actors,” Chalamet says of his costars. “They know instinctively how to exist in a movie of this size and really bring a strong presence, while also keeping the naturalism alive and believable. That’s something I feel like I achieved more on this one, where on the first one it was a new skill set for me.”

Paul Atreides, after all, is the only man in the Dune universe with the ability to see forward and backward in time. That makes him the Kwisatz Haderach, a messiah figure long prophesied by the female-only mystic order known as the Bene Gesserit, and he is perhaps uniquely capable of avenging his family’s destruction in the first Dune film. 

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

Dune Part 2 Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga

Like this cast, the first Dune was all about potential. Throughout the 2021 film, authority figures such as Bene Gesserit matriarch Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) identify Paul as having all the necessary traits to change the fate of the universe… but the specifics of why and how he might do this mainly were left vague. 

Dune: Part Two is about fulfilling those big promises — for director Denis Villeneuve and his hand-picked actors as much as for the characters themselves. Suppose the second film can match the artistic highs and commercial success of the first (which raked in more than $400 million at the global box office, despite the lingering pandemic and simultaneously releasing on HBO Max, and won six of its 10 Oscar nominations). In that case, Villeneuve & Co. will have accomplished something most people assumed impossible. But that’s not to say making these dreams a reality was easy.

Chalamet, who portrays the young and reluctant hero Paul Atreides, shares his journey from princely heir to messianic figure. The weight of prophecy rests on his shoulders, and the desert sands hold both danger and destiny. Chalamet’s commitment to the role and his exploration of Paul’s inner turmoil elevate the narrative to a new height.

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

As Chani, Zendaya embodies the warrior spirit of the Fremen. Her chemistry with Chalamet crackles on screen, and their love story becomes a beacon of hope amidst chaos. Zendaya’s portrayal adds depth to the Arrakis landscape, and her fierce loyalty to her people resonates with audiences.

Butler steps into the boots of Duncan Idaho, the loyal swordmaster. His bald intensity and unwavering loyalty to House Atreides make him a standout character. Butler’s physicality and commitment to the fight sequences bring the epic battles to life.

Pugh, as Princess Irulan, navigates the intricate web of politics. Daughter of the aging Emperor, she observes the galaxy’s unsteady balance. Pugh’s regal poise and vulnerability add layers to the power dynamics, hinting at hidden agendas and shifting alliances.

The sands run red as the House Atreides clashes with the brutal House Harkonnen. Villeneuve orchestrates epic set pieces—the sandworms, the spice harvest, and the whispers of prophecyDune: Part Two promises spectacle, heart, and a universe teetering on the edge of revolution.

Dune Part 1: The Prophet

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

Paul grows a lot for the first Dune: Torn away from his homeworld, this privileged son of the noble House Atreides watched as his family was exterminated by their longtime enemies, House Harkonnen, in a power play for control of the valuable spice melange. He then learns the hard way how to fend for himself in the hostile environment of the desert planet Arrakis, while also reckoning with his strange, spice-induced visions of a bloody future to come. 

But that movie ended before Chalamet fully embodies Paul’s transformation into the revolutionary leader known by Arrakis’ desert-dwelling Fremen as Muad’Dib. So when the time finally came on Dune: Part Two, the actor stopped at nothing to seize his big moment.

“My humbling lesson on the first movie was that, even with a great character like Paul, I’m really just a moving part in a greater picture, a greater purpose and story,” Chalamet says. 

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

To avenge his family and triumph over the Harkonnens who murdered his father, Chalamet’s character must grow beyond his original name and become the Lissan al-Gaib (which translates to “voice from the Outer World” in the Freman language of Chakobsa), a long-prophesied savior who will lead the Fremen to victory and paradise. To do that, he must prove that he can handle the Fremen’s way of life as well as if he were born to it — and, in a climactic sequence, deliver a show-stopping speech in their language. 

Villeneuve recruited linguist David J. Peterson (who worked on Game of Thrones’ Dothraki language) to develop Chakobsa fully. Dune novelist Frank Herbert described this dialect in his books but didn’t index it as fully as J.R.R. Tolkien did with Elvish. So Peterson crafted a vocabulary and pronunciations that could be used by actors including Chalamet, Zendaya, and Javier Bardem (who returns as the Fremen leader Stilgar). 

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

“All the actors went to Fremen school!” Villeneuve tells EW. “I’m not joking. They took weeks to learn the language and came on set absolutely fluent. There was even a dialect coach on set. Everybody took it so seriously, and I was so moved to see Timothée give whole speeches in Chakobsa.”

Chalamet recalls being particularly eager to shoot Paul’s rousing speech to a commune of gathered Fremen — a scene he considers an instant career highlight, thanks to the sheer difficulty and the many years of preparation and anticipation that went into it.

“Those five days on set, speaking in a language that was conceived for the films, I was just savoring those days,” he says. “I wanted to bring justice not just to the arc of Paul, but also to Dune. And I knew that those were the days. Even when we rehearsed that scene, we went all in.” 

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

“I remember coming to watch that day, and usually it’s all lighthearted, like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’” says Zendaya. “But that day I was like, ‘Oh no, he’s serious right now.’” 

“I actually felt bad about that,” Chalamet continues. “But it’s true. I thought, ‘I’m in the pocket. Let me just get this done.’ I’m really proud of that scene. That might have been my favorite day on set.” 

Asked about this comment the next day, Villeneuve smiles,

“Of course it was one of Timothée’s favorite moments, because he was looking for that since Part One! He was begging for that moment, dreaming about it, for weeks and months — the moment Paul finally will become the Lissan al-Gaib.” 

When it finally happened years later, Villeneuve says he was “amazed by what Timothée brought to life. It’s something to see that shy boy from the beginning bring all the firepower in that scene. I was moved to tears by how magnificent and powerful he was.” 

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

Paul’s power comes from sound, from the words he speaks to the supernatural Voice he can deploy to command others — all enhanced by the almost cosmic tones of the film itself. Sound designers Mark Mangini and Theo Green won an Oscar for orchestrating those multifaceted intonations in the first Dune, as did Hans Zimmer for his stirring score that combines Arabic influences with entirely invented instruments. And there’s more where that came from in Part Two. (You can hear an excerpt of Zimmer’s new soundtrack here.) 

Dune Part Two Cast Reveal Secrets of the Arrakis Saga.

“The music really is so striking and so beautiful. It brings such emotion to everything,” Zendaya says. “You look at what Denis and everyone else has created and you’re like, ‘Somehow this will become even better when you put music to it.’ And it does! It’s really, really special.”

Stay tuned as the desert winds carry us back to Arrakis, as Dune Part 2 Cast reveal secrets of the Arrakis Saga. Where destiny awaits, and the battle rages on.

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