'Dune' sequel pushed to next year due to strikes, other Warner Bros films keep 2023 dates

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'Dune' sequel pushed to next year due to strikes, other Warner Bros films keep 2023 dates
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in a scene in 'Dune.'
Warner Bros. Pictures / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Denis Villeneuve's sequel to his 2021 space epic "Dune" based on the novel by Frank Herbert is the latest blockbuster to be affected by the ongoing strikes in Hollywood, postponing its release date from November 2023 to March 2024.

The move was largely speculated to happen as the strikes — during which actors cannot promote films they are starring in — have not made any substantial progress.

Just a few names on the sprawling cast are Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler who have a combined follower count on social media over 250 million, meaning their influence would greatly help marketing the film.

Zendaya alone has more than 180 million Instagram followers, and her unavailablity led to MGM pulling her upcoming tennis romance movie "Challengers" out of the 2023 Venice Film Festival and its September wide release date so it will come out on April 2024 instead.

One benefit of the new date is that "Dune: Part Two" will have no direct competitors from rival studios during its release week and will still screen in several IMAX theaters.

The mid-March 2024 date was originally occupied by Legendary's, another producer of the "Dune" movies, "Godzilla x Kong: A New Empire" which was pushed down a month — April was a prime date for the film's predecessors in China, with a collective box office worth nearly $570 million (P32.2 billion).

RELATED: WATCH: Bald Austin Butler, Florence Pugh gives princess vibe in 'Dune 2'

The upcoming Monsterverse movie replaced the April 2024 date of "Lord of the Rings" animated movie "War of the Rohirrim" now slated for December 13, 2024, meaning it will go up against Sony's planned reboot of "The Karate Kid."

Other major anticipated movies by Warner Bros. namely "Wonka" (also starring Chalamet), "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," and "The Color Purple" are all keeping their December 2023 release dates so far, although the "Aquaman" sequel has yet to release an official trailer.

With "Dune: Part Two" out of the way, Disney could consider pushing "The Marvels" to come out a week earlier, take advantage of available IMAX screens, and have more screening time before minor rival Lionsgate releases "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes."

"Dune: Part Two" continues the story of Chalamet's Paul Atreides as he joins forces with Zendaya's Chani and the Fremen of Arrakis to seek revenge against the individuals that caused the downfall of his family.

Joining Pugh and Butler as newcomers are Christopher Walken and Léa Seydoux while returning from the first film are Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, and Charlotte Rampling.

RELATED: WATCH: Timothée Chalamet as 'Wonka' in new trailer

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