A new Dune featurette teases the importance of Zendaya’s mysterious character, Chani, while offering a glimpse at snippets of new footage as well as interviews with some of the cast and crew behind the upcoming science fiction epic. In the clip, Zendaya talks about her admiration for her co-star Timoth&ée Chalamet and working on Dune, as well as hinting at her importance to the movie’s lore.
Chani is integral to both Frank Herbert’s novels Dune and Dune Messiah, and begins the story as a Fremen warrior before becoming the wife and legal concubine of Chalamet’s Paul Atreides. Appearing to Paul in visions before the pair have even met, Chani is already a highly-skilled warrior, who becomes even more deadly and formidable later in the story, and is crucial to Paul achieving his destiny.
Her importance to director Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation has already been teased by the filmmaker, who has revealed that, should a sequel be given the greenlight, Chani will take the lead role. “I can’t wait to shoot the second part of Dune to get [Timoth&ée Chalamet and Zendaya] back together,” Villeneuve said of shotting his desired follow-up. “Knowing that in the next chapter Zendaya will be the protagonist of the story.”
Dune will hurl audiences into the far future of humanity, as Duke Leto Atreides accepts stewardship of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, “melange” (also called “spice”), a drug that extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought, and makes faster-than-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 most trusted advisors to Arrakis. Leto takes control of the spice mining operation, which is made perilous 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.
The movie features a stellar ensemble cast alongside Timoth&ée Chalamet and Zenadaya, with Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsg&ård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem all signed on to bring characters from Frank Herbert’s esteemed work to life on the big screen.
After several delays, Dune finally premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, and currently holds an impressive rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Warner Bros. Pictures is scheduled to theatrically release the movie internationally on September 15, 2021, and then in the United States on October 22, where it will have a simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service for 31 days.
It was recently reported that whether or not a sequel happens depends on how well the movie plays on HBO Max and, should Dune 2 get the greenlight, Denis Villeneuve is ready to go as soon as possible. “I would say that I would be fairly ready to go quite quickly now,” the filmmaker revealed. “If there’s enthusiasm and the movie is greenlit, sooner than later I will say that I will be ready to shoot 2022 for sure…I am ready to go and I would say that I would love to bring it to the screen as soon as possible.”