Empire Magazine October 2023: DUNE PART TWO Austin Butler Cover #2 Florence Pugh

Call it destiny. Call it fate. Call it a carefully calibrated chain of events. But Denis Villeneuve was always playing the long game. When he unveiled Dune, the first part of his planned epic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal, Spice-fuelled sci-fi novel, there was no guarantee that he’d get to continue the story. As gambits go, it was one as big and bold as Dune itself – a thunderous epic that took everything Villeneuve had worked on across his career (the paranoid thrills of Sicario, the weighty ideas of Arrival, the will-this-even-work pressure of Blade Runner 2049) and channelled it into the cinematic spectacle of Herbert fans’ dreams. And true to his vision, the stars aligned: Dune Part Two was officially confirmed, with the next chapter in the story of Paul Atreides – and the Fremen, and the Harkonnens, and the Bene Gesserit – set to be told after all. The journey back to Arrakis begins here.

The new issue of Empire takes a world-exclusive deep dive into what’s to come in Dune Part Two – getting granular (and not just because of all that sand) with Denis Villeneuve himself. Inside the issue, we speak to the director about his ongoing personal journey with Dune, and his continued efforts to translate its wild worlds and even wilder ideas to the big screen. And in his take on the second half of Herbert’s titanic tome, the promise of all-out war is set to be fulfilled, with fascinating new characters waiting to emerge from the shadows (including Austin Butler’s ferocious Feyd-Rautha and the Emperor Shaddam IV himself, played by Christopher Walken). Plus, we have brand new images – featuring familiar faces and incoming characters alike – offering a whole new look at what’s to come in Part Two. It’s more epic than a skyscraper-sized sandworm.

This month’s issue has two covers to collect – the first showing off the fighters of Dune Part Two: Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides, Zendaya’s Chani, Javier Bardem’s Stilgar, Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica, and Josh Brolin’s Gurney Halleck; and the second occupied by the oppressors: Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha, Dave Bautista’s ‘Beast’ Rabban, Stellan Skarsgård’s Baron Harkonnen, Léa Seydoux’s Lady Margot, and Florence Pugh’s Princess Irulan. Prepare to be hooked on Spice all over again – Dune is officially back


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