When last we left our anti-hero, Paul (Timothée Chalamet), his future gal-pal Chani (Zendaya) and mummy dearest (Rebecca Ferguson), they were trotting merrily back to Sietch Tabr as the sun rose golden over the desert-planet Arrakis. Luckily, Chani’s “This is only the beginning,” didn’t become cinematic irony when Legendary and Warner Bros. greenlit a Dune Part II for October 2023.
But there’s some issues.
Villeneuve monkeyed around a little with Dune Part I, mostly in good ways — notably, he moved Jamis’s fight scene up and set it outdoors; he made Paul’s visions much more symbolic and enthralling than David Lynch’s version (sorry, Dave. My heart’s breaking. Dune adaptations already asked me to choose between Kyle McLachlan and Timothée, and this is just getting worse). But Dune Part II will need some hardcore monkeying. So far, we’ve seen some floating Sardukaur and some prescience. We haven’t seen the real crazypants parts of Dune.
Problem 1: Dune Part II Needs Sietch… Orgies?
Yes, orgies. When they return to Sietch Tabr, the party discovers their Sayyadina is dying. She’s basically their Reverend Mother, so oh-so-conveniently in walks Jessica. They conduct a ceremony making her the new Sayyadina, which involves her drinking the Water of Life, AKA spicin’ up her life. After that, the whole sietch sort of gets it on all at once. That’s how Chani pulls Paul’s V-card (and if we don’t see Timothée shirtless, girls and gay men across America will riot).
I’m sort of thinking Villeneuve will simply have Paul and Chani slip off to get it on, like normal teenagers.
Problem 2: The Spice Must Flow
In Dune Part I, Villeneuve made the spice all golden-sparkly unicorn mist. In Dune Part II, spice will become what it really is: a hardcore psychedelic drug that allows certain people to travel through time and space. This is, like Trent Reznor said, the Perfect Drug. Villeneuve can’t really soften it. Will audiences be there for it?
Problem 3: Dune Part II Has To Show Timothée Riding A Sandworm
Convincingly CGI that. Yeah, we saw that dude sandwormin’ it up just before the end of Dune Part I. But Dune Part II has to put lots of people on lots of sandworms and if anyone can pull it off, it’s Villeneuve. He manages in both Dune I and Bladerunner II to make some pretty weird scenescapes out of CGI, but…
We’re just glad they don’t look as dangerously phallic as David Lynch’s.