Dune 2 IMAX Preview Footage Reveals A Classic Book Scene, Moves Up Release Date
One of the coolest scenes from Dune: Part Two is already out there.
Ride the worm! At the end of the one-night-only release of Dune: Part One in IMAX theaters across the U.S., a brand-new scene was screened for lucky sandriders in attendance. And this scene finally does justice to an epic moment from Frank Herbert’s novel, while also paying homage to David Lynch.
Here’s what’s in that big sandworm-sized new footage from Dune: Part Two, how it honors the original book, how it fits into the book’s timeline, plus, the new early release date for selected screenings of Dune: Part Two.
Mild spoilers ahead for one scene from Dune: Part Two.
Dune: Part Two IMAX Preview Footage, Explained
At the beginning of the special IMAX re-release of Dune: Part One, a special segment opened the film featuring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, encouraging viewers to stick around after the movie for a special sneak-preview of Dune: Part Two. And, after the credits were completed, a brief sizzle reel played, showing mostly scenes from existing trailers, spliced with new behind-the-scenes interview footage from Zendaya, Florence Pugh, Chalamet, and Austin Butler. Zendaya explained that Chani is a character “stuck between what her heart says and what her mind says,” while Austin Butler enthused that “you don’t get to play characters like this,” referencing his debut as the villainous Feyd.
Meanwhile, Chalamet pointed out that the struggle of Paul in Dune: Part Two was all about him “not wanting to uphold destiny.”
And then, Denis Villeneuve introduced the epic scene in which Paul rides a sandworm. Telling us that he “dreamt of this sequence” since he was a little kid, Villeneuve also promised the next Dune will have “more action” and “more sandworm riding.” Further, the power of the Shai-Hulud that was “only glimpsed” in Part One will be on full display in Part Two.
Dune 2 Brings Back Paul’s other Name, References David Lynch
The roughy 10-minute sequence faithfully renders Paul’s first moment as a sandrider with near-perfect precision. Interestingly, in this scene, Stilgar (Javier Bardem) refers to Paul as “Usul,” which is Paul’s private Fremen name, separate and apart from his public name Muad'dib. Up until this moment, it was unclear if Villeneuve’s Dune was going to bother with this book-specific detail. Usul means “the base of the pillar,” while Muad'dib is Paul’s other name, which references the desert mouse which he glimpsed briefly in Part One.
Interestingly, this scene also strongly references the David Lynch film because one Fremen — most likely Shishakli (Souheila Yacoub) — tells Paul to “Call a big one!” This line does not appear in the novel Dune, but is probably an homage to the 1984 Dune film, in which Stilgar (then played by Everett McGill) says, “Usul has called a big one!” When the massive sandworm does emerge, in the new scene, Stilgar (Bardem) says, somewhat hilariously, “Not that big!”
But Paul is triumphant, and as in the book, he successfully rides and steers the sandworm. Of note, in this scene, Paul’s eyes are blue, indicating that the time jump in the first novel has probably occurred at this point. And, more than any other version of this scene in previous Dune adaptations, you feel the reality of Paul’s struggle to ride the sandworm. Interestingly, and refreshingly, a lot of this is accomplished with close-up shots, which eventually result in the massive moment where we see Paul riding the worm. It also looks a lot like the moment Paul saw at the end of Dune: Part One, indicating that the sandrider featured in that film was perhaps, another of Paul’s prescient visions.
Dune 2 New Release Date — With a Twist
At the end of the IMAX screenings of Dune: Part One, it was made clear that one-day-only IMAX screenings for Dune: Part Two will now take place on February 25. That means in the U.S., Dune: Part Two will now be released a week earlier (for one day) than previously reported. IMAX is calling this a “fan first” premiere.
Tickets for this early screening are on sale now.
Dune: Part Two will hit wide release on March 1, 2024.
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