Dune release date delayed again – but not by much

dune 2020 release date
(Image credit: Chiabella James/Warner Bros.)

Denis Villeneuve's hotly-anticipated sci-fi epic, Dune, has been delayed again – though only until October 22.

According to a Variety report, the move to shift the Timothée Chalamet-led film's release by a further three weeks comes as part of a broader schedule shuffle at Warner Bros., which also includes delays to Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark and Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho.

This marks the third time Dune’s release date has been pushed back. Pandemic-related restrictions meant the movie was first delayed until October 1, 2021, from an original December 18, 2020 release date – though this latest shift isn’t nearly as severe.

From what we can tell, the delay won’t affect the studio’s plans to release Dune concurrently on HBO Max and in theatres, a decision director Villeneuve described as “all about the survival of a telecom mammoth” last year.

We previously reported on the potential legal challenge by the movie’s distributor, Legendary Entertainment, against Warner Bros. regarding the controversial move, though the latest news suggests Dune will release concurrently as planned. 

There were murmerings that the steady reopening of theatres might force Warner Bros. to reconsider its release schedule, though the studio’s head of communications, Johanna Fuentes, recently took to Twitter to refute the claims. 

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Set up for seconds?

Dune, an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 novel, will follow the story of Paul Atreides, a gifted young prince forced to travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the survival of his people. 

The film’s A-list cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem, and it’s set to premiere at September’s Venice Film Festival.

We had also assumed Dune was all-but set up for a sequel, given the size of its source material, though recent comments made by the movie’s co-writer suggest it will be up to audiences to decide the theatrical future of the franchise.

Speaking to Collider, screenwriter Eric Roth admitted he had written a script treatment for Dune 2, though it would depend on whether “people love Dune so much that they do want to have a second part.”

That being said, with a TV spin-off series – titled Dune: The Sisterhood – already being developed for HBO Max, coupled with Villeneuve’s very public desire to make a second movie, we’re fairly sure we’ll see more of Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides after Dune drops on October 22.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.