Dune Part 2 has been delayed again, but that might be a good thing

Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson as Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica in Dune
The sequel to 2020's Dune won't be out in theaters this year after all. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

It's time to put those Arrakis holiday plans on ice, everyone, because Dune Part 2's release as been delayed.

Per Variety, one of 2023's hottest new movies has had its launch date pushed back by four months. Dune 2 was due out in theaters on November 3 but, as a result of the ongoing writers and actors strikes, Warner Bros. has moved Dune Part 2 to March 15, 2024.

Anticipation levels had been rising for Dune 2 in the months leading up to its late 2023 launch. In May, the film's first trailer teased thrills, sci-fi spills, and Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides riding one of the franchise's iconic sandworms. Two months later, the movie's official trailer – which you can view below – delivered even more spectacular visuals, tension-fuelled action, and high-stakes drama.

Unfortunately, the wait for Denis Villeneuve's next big-budget sci-fi extravaganza has been extended in the wake of its delay. So, if you were holding out for Dune Part 2's arrival before the end of the year, you'll have to reset your hype levels.

Warner Bros' deserting of its November 2023 launch for Dune 2 all but confirms the film won't make its streaming debut before the year is over, too. It was unlikely to join Max's movie library before December 31 rolled around anyway. But the movie's delay means you shouldn't expect it land on one of the world's best streaming services (in the US, at least) ahead of 2024. UK and Australian fans won't be able to watch it in the comfort of their own homes on Now TV or Binge, either.

Shifting sands that might be a blessing in disguise

A cloaked Paul Atreides stands on the left side of an official image for Dune Part 2

Dune Part 2's delayed release might be a good thing. (Image credit: Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Dune Part 2's theatrical delay was on the cards as soon as the actors strike began on July 14. Six days after Hollywood's stars joined its writers on the picket line over working conditions, the threat of artificial intelligence, and other industry issues, Variety suggested Dune 2 might not make its November 3 launch. 

Unfortunately, that's now come to pass. The second Dune film joins the likes of Sony Pictures' Kraven the Hunter and Ghostbusters: Afterlife in being moved out of their late 2023 release date slots. Upon that announcement, we suggested you should prepare for more bad news regarding movie delays, and we've been proven right.

But Dune Part 2's launch delay could be a blessing in disguise. The final two months of 2023 were looking stacked from a release slate perspective. Other big hitters including The Marvels, Aquaman 2, Wonka, The Hunger Games prequel, Wish, and Napoleon are all set for release between November 10 and December 20. One less tentpole movie gives those other films room to breathe, and means audiences don't have to dither over which ones they'll spend their hard-earned cash on.

Yes, it's disappointing that Dune Part 2 won't land in theaters in early November. But, depending on how long the strikes last for, its arrival in March 2024 may end being the right move, especially if new movie releases are few and far between once the industrial action ends. With little in the way of confirmed film launches set for March 2024, too, Dune 2 might have the freedom of the theatrical space to dominate the box office during the early part of the year, too.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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