Filming on Dune Part Two starts today. Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi sequel will be filming in Budapest, where many of the studio scenes for Dune Part One were shot. However the second part of the story requires more than Arrakis and Geidi Prime, home of House Harkonnen, to appear. The Emperor is coming.
Dune Part One ended with Paul and Jessica escaping the murderous Harkonnen after House Atriedes was betrayed and attacked on Arrakis. They were accepted into the Fremen, the desert dwelling natives of the planet known as Dune. Dune is the only source in the known universe of the spice melange, a substance that allows interstellar travel by allowing navigators of the Spacing Guild to “fold space”. Dune 2 will fully introduce the wider universe.
Christopher Walken has been case as Emperor Shaddam IV, leader of House Corrino and leader of the entire universe in Dune.
It was Shaddam who assigned House Atreides and Duke Leto to take over Arrakis from the Harkonnen. According to the lore, Shaddam IV is the 81st person from his House to rule, and while he’s powerful, he’s not a very convincing leader.
If you have not read the books or seen the television adaptions, or the David Lynch movie, then don’t read any further if you are avoiding spoilers.
Dune 2 will reveal that the Emperor wasn’t sending House Atreides to Arrakis on merit. He was concerned that Duke Leto was gaining support in the Landsraad (the assembly of noble houses houses) and would eventually supplant him as Emperor.
Therefore he aligned himself with the Harkonnens, and gave them the support of his elite military force, the Sarduakar, to attack and destroy the Atreides on Arrakis. He did not count on Duke Leto’s heir escaping alive.
Like Duke Leto, Emperor Shaddam IV has a Bene Gesserit wife. The Bene Gesserit can choose the sex of their children. Unlike Lady Jessica, who went against the Bene Gesserit’s order and gave birth to a male in order to give Duke Leto an heir, the Emperor has five daughters so at this point no rightful heir. The Bene Gesserit themselves were engaged in a secret breeding programme, the purpose of which will become clear.
All these machinations, weakness, plans within plans and failures will plunge the universe into a civil war as a jihad rages from Arrakis.
Suspected to be a location used to bring the home of the Emperor to life, the shooting starting today is in Altivole, Italy in the Veneto region. It is location shooting of establishing shots and will take place at the Carlo Scarpa-designed Brion Tomb.
This is a modernist structure consisting of a chapel, reflecting pool, and gardens blending Byzantine and Japanese influence.
Warner’s have pushed back Dune 2 a few weeks to November 17th 2023. Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin all return while Walken is joined by Lea Seydoux, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler as new additions.