Dune release date, trailer, and everything else we know

When is Dune coming out? Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction movie based on Frank Herbert’s epic novel is almost here. Full of top Hollywood talent, and a sandworm or two, Villeneuve’s vision for the intergalactic spice war is almost on the big screen for us to explore.

Getting here hasn’t been easy for the film directed by Villeneuve, and co-written by him, Jon Spaihts, and Eric Roth. Though most of it was completed pre-lockdown, the release date has shifted a few times, from 2020 into 2021. Needless to say, navigating the perils of a pandemic with a blockbuster thriller movie is a bit like trying to make it across the mountains of Arrakis, just moving forward and hoping for the best.

But we’re here now, and Warner Bros has shared quite a bit of footage to dig into at this point, as well as some interviews with the cast and crew. We even have some dodgy posters! We’ve sifted through all of it for the most important nuggets of information for you to ingest. It’s not spice, but it is spicy – here we go.

When is the Dune release date?

Dune is set to arrive theatrically in the UK and US on October 22, 2021. This is the third date the movie has occupied on the calendar for cinematic openings. Previously, it was due November 20, 2020, then pushed back to December 18, 2020, then October 1, 2021, and finally, October 22, 2021.

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The world premiere will happen at the 2021 Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2021, before moving onto general release. Though everything looks steady, things can shift like sand, and we’ll keep you updated if any more delays occur.

Will Dune be streaming?

Yes – in the US, Dune will be available in cinemas and on HBO Max simultaneously. This is part of Warner Bros’ choice to put every movie in its release calendar for 2021 on the streaming service. Availability lasts for 30 days after the movie opens in theatres, at which point it will leave the service.

Is there a Dune trailer?

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Yes, we got the first trailer for Dune in September 2020. Led by Timothée Chalamet’s Paul, it gives some context to the burgeoning war the narrative draws from. We get looks at the greys and browns of planet Arrakis, some of the strange, far-flung technology, and some sense of the huge scale of the picture.

Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, and more get a look, amid talk of lessons not learned, and lots of ships rallying together for battle. At the end, we have the money shot – a good look at the gaping maw of a gargantuan sandworm.

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A second trailer arrived July 2021, focusing more on Zendaya’s Chani. There’s a few more explosions as well, teasing this might be more Star Wars-like than we first thought

What is Dune about?

A big question, given the scope of Herbert’s novel. The long and short of it is that two houses, Atreides and Harkonnen, engage in a bitter dispute over the spice mines on Arrakis. Spice is a drug that makes us live longer and heightens our cognitive abilities, and it’s highly sought after. Arrakis, covered in sand and rock and giant sandworms, is the only source of the substance, and when conflict begins, the Atreides family gets help from the Fremen, natives to the desert planet.

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Those are heavy bridge-notes. The official synopsis is as follows: “In the far future, Duke Leto Atreides accepts the stewardship of the desert planet, Arrakis, also known as Dune, the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, ‘the spice’ a drug which extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought, and makes light travel practical.

“Though Leto knows the opportunity is an intricate trap set by his enemies, he takes his Bene Gesserit concubine Lady Jessica, young son and heir Paul, and more trusted advisors to the desert planet. Leto takes control of the spice mining operation, which is made risky by the presence of giant sandworms. A bitter betrayal leads Paul and Jessica to the Fremen, natives of Arrakis who live in the deep desert.”

Who’s in the Dune cast?

Villeneuve has assembled a large ensemble cast for his vision of the adventure movie. Timothée Chalamet is the star, playing Paul Atreides, he’s the heir to the Atreides family. Oscar Isaac plays his father, Duke Leto Atreides, and Rebecca Ferguson plays Leto’s love, Lady Jessica.

Stellan Skarsgard plays the main villain, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, with Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, his nephew and a violent killer. Zendaya is Chani, a Fremen who eventually becomes Paul’s wife, and Jason Momoa is Duncan Idaho, a loyal confidante and fighter for House Atreides.

The complete cast and who they’re playing is as follows:

  • Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides
  • Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica
  • Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides
  • Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck
  • Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
  • Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban
  • Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat
  • Zendaya as Chani
  • David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries
  • Chang Chen as Dr Wellington Yueh
  • Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Dr Liet-Kynes
  • Charlotte Rampling as Gaius Helen Mohiam
  • Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho
  • Javier Bardem as Stilgar

Some character posters were released, you can see the first, featuring Chalamet, below:

Will there be a Dune sequel?

The plan is for Dune to be a two-parter. This movie covers one half of the book, and Villeneuve told Vanity Fair he “would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie”. In previews of the first ten minutes, it’s been reported the film is titled Dune: Part One, implying that a second is on the cards – we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Anthony McGlynn

Staff writer

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

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