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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

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Dune: Part Two

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 Are you ready for Dune: Part Two? Who isn’t! The long awaited second movie to Dune (2021) is coming to theaters March 15th, 2024. Return to the desert planet of Arrakis, and explore the world deeper in the sand. 

Starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Issac, Jason Mamoa, and many more, the first Dune movie was a hit. The 2021 film adaptation was nominated ten times at the Academy Awards and won six; including Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects. The movie dazzled screens and left viewers in awe, but many felt like it was only a “two hour and thirty minute trailer” for the next edition. Still, the movie earned an 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 4.1 stars on Google Review. The second movie is anticipated to be more thrilling, epic, and gripping than the first, even adding new characters to the narrative. Plus, according to Flick on Click, Dune: Part Two is estimated to have had a budget of $200 million, while the original film was made on a budget of $165 million. Dune: Part Two will be introducing Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, and more to this story set out of this world. 

It might be a surprise to some that the movie Dune is based on a book. Many book lovers will critique the movie adaptations to their favorite books, and Dune is certainly not an exception. The novel was published in 1965 by author Frank Herbert. This first book would lead to an entire book series of science fiction. Reading these books was the young Denis Villeneuve, who would later become the director of Dune, as he dreamed of bringing this story to the big screen. He has spent his years planning for this movie and states, “When you adapt, it’s an act of vandalism,” as he told Den of Geek. Even though Villenvue has tried to stay as close to the book as possible, the lines of movie versus book are still clear.

Readers of the novels will note that the future wife of Paul Atreides, Princess Irulan, is absent from the first movie. The royal held a special place in the book, keeping quasi-historical texts foreshadowing the man Paul will become. Villeneuve takes away this framing device which allows the audience to live through the eyes of Paul. Removing the princess’s discursive internal monologues allows the movie to feel more cinematic rather than literacy. But have hope readers! Princess Irulan will be in Dune: Part Two, portrayed by the incredible Florence Pugh.

Much like many various works and literature of science fiction, the novel Dune doesn’t always do the female characters justice. Villeneuve chose to make the women of the film more meaningful, and this is something that most people can appreciate when spotting differences. In an interview with Esquire, Villeneuve said, “We need to make sure that Lady Jessica is not an expensive extra. She’s such a beautiful and complex character”, while discussing how he has empowered female characters differently from the book. In Herbert’s novel, marriage is viewed as a political arrangement, not unlike many other fictional shows and books like Game of Thrones. In contrast, in the movie, Lady Jessica has her own power called “the voice,” making her an asset as a wife, mother, and character. Villeneuve uses this change to strengthen and modernize her part in the film, and he makes these changes to other female characters, including Dr. Liet Kynes who was gender swapped. As Villenueve said, “it just makes it closer to the world today, and more relevant and frankly more interesting.”

From the novel to the first movie to the second film, these pieces are sure to astonish. Dune: Part Two is expected to surpass its predecessor, estimated to collect about $500 million at the box office while the first film grossed $402 million. Although, if the film receives negative reviews, it can end up being a box office failure. 

I suppose we shall see what happens on March 15th! When watching, always remember the great words of Reverend Mother, “The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”

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About the Contributor
Sophia Ehrenberg, Staff Writer
Sophia is a sophomore at Harriton who is thrilled to write for her second year at the Banner. She is involved in clubs other than the Banner like BuildOn, Simon’s Heart, JSU, and Med Club. She loves the sciences and is fascinated by history. In her spare time, Sophia enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and playing with her cat. 

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