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Dune 2 director on Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet's characters' love story

timothee chalamet, zendaya, dune part two
Dune 2 director teases central love storyNiko Tavernise/Warner Bros

Dune director Denis Villeneuve has teased the love story between Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet's characters in the upcoming Part Two.

Speaking to Empire magazine, the director explained that the next part of his science-fiction adaptation will be an out-and-out "war movie" after a first film of worldbuilding, but it will also place a lot of focus on the romance between main characters Chani and Paul Atreides.

"At the very core is a love story between Paul and Chani," he said. "How Paul will gain her trust, how she will open her heart to him, and how they will find a way to free Chani's world from the Harkonnen grip. It's a much more emotional movie."

timothee chalamet, zendaya, dune part two
Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros

Related: Dune TV series adds The Crown's Olivia Williams in character recasting

Villeneuve also stated that the two film's together are about a protagonist discovering and fulfilling their destiny to try and save lives and impart justice, so he had to try and wean Chalamet off a typical 'hero's journey' portrayal, since the consequences of that journey could be catastrophic.

He recalled: "I remember when I was doing Part One, I kept saying to Timothée: 'No, you're just Paul.' Because he was reaching for Muad'Dib [Paul's name within the Fremen community]. He was looking forward to becoming that hero and I was pushing the brakes.

"He has the power to change things, but he knows that if he does so, it will create an astronomical amount of violence and he will become a kind of dictator. He's trying to find a way to avoid that ominous future – that's the burden upon his shoulders."

dune part 2 poster
Warner Bros.

Related: Dune explained: A beginner's guide to Frank Herbert's Dune

Unfortunately, while it looked like the promotional wheels for Dune: Part Two were starting to spin for its November release, it was just announced that the film has been delayed until March next year.

This is a result of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA actor and WGA writer strikes, which prevent most promotional activities, as well as scripting and filming.

Dune: Part Two is out in cinemas on March 15, 2024.

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