The second half of Denis Villeneuve’s film adaptation of Dune will no longer arrive in theaters this year… Co-producers Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment have taken the decision to move Dune: Part Two‘s release date to March 15, 2024.
Dune: Part Two was previously scheduled for November 3, 2023, however the studios began “strongly considering” a delay after the actors’ labor union SAG-AFTRA started their strike (July 14). Main concern here is that, while these work stoppages are ongoing, the movie’s stellar cast—featuring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler—would not be permitted to promote its release. No press interviews, red carpet appearances, nor social media posts, etc.
As previously reported, Legendary did have a month or so to monitor these developments, before taking an informed decision. However, as of today—over 40 days after aforementioned strike commenced—the AMPTP has not resumed negotiations with SAG-AFTRA. With the next marketing campaigns for Dune: Part Two set to launch by September, a call had to be taken; proceed or delay…
The new March 15, 2024 release date positions Dune: Part Two to begin its theatrical run during Spring Break. As it stands now, it would not be facing competition for IMAX screens during that period. The movie also stands to benefit from having Easter holiday (March 31) right around the corner.
This shift results in two other changes in Warner Bros. Picture’s 2024 slate. Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire, also a Legendary co-production, moves from March 15 into April 12. New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim leaves the latter date and heads to December 13.
Although delays were also being considered for other 2023 films, for now their December releases remain unchanged: Wonka, which stars Timothée Chalamet (December 15), DC’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 20), and The Color Purple (December 25). All involved parties will be hoping for a resolution well before then. If those movies stay put, and further shifts are avoided, that would be favorable for the lead-up towards Dune: Part Two.