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The move comes after Universal moved Ryan Gosling’s The Fall Guy from March 1 to May 3, creating a gap that theater owners were eager for Dune to fill. Warners and Legendary are hopeful that the project will be able to attract some of the spring break crowd with the new date. Like Universal’s Oppenheimer, which benefited from playing in premium formats that are pricier for audiences, Dune will be available in a variety of formats including Imax and Imax 70 mm. It will get a two- to three-week run in Imax, and possibly longer depending on the playing field in terms of other films opening after Dune.
Of course, it’s little solace for Dune fans, who had been expecting the project to open earlier this month before it was delayed amid the actors strike, as Warners and Legendary did not want to release the film without the benefit of stars such as Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet being able to promote it. The first Dune was released under challenging circumstances — amid the pandemic and a day-and-date release on HBO Max — so it was important to release this one under as normal of circumstances as possible.
Denis Villeneuve once again directs the film, with new faces to the franchise including Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken and Léa Seydoux. Returning castmembers include Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista and Josh Brolin.
If all goes well, Villeneuve has said he’d like to make one more Dune film to wrap up his time on the franchise, an adaptation of sci-fi author Frank Herbert’s work.
“Part One is more of a contemplative movie. Part Two is an action-packed, epic war movie. It is much more dense. We went to all new locations,” said Villeneuve at CinemaCon in April. “I didn’t want a feeling of repetition. It’s all new sets. Everything is new.”