Legendary Entertainment to Shoot ‘Dune’ Sequel in Abu Dhabi in November

Director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic ‘Dune: Part II’ is set to hit theaters on November 17, 2023.

Dune: Part II will return to Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi, for over a month in November 2022, taking advantage of the 30% cashback on productions offered by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, while production services will be provided by Epic Films, with support from a number of UAE production partners.

Abu Dhabi will reprise its role as the iconic setting of the desert planet Arrakis in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel.

Legendary Films, the producer of Dunes, will also hire five interns from the United Arab Emirates to experience first-hand what it would be like to work on the set of a film like Dunes. The production company also plans to organize seminars in Abu Dhabi for budding filmmakers and technicians from the UAE to learn more about the different fields of film production.

Following Herbert’s first novel, the sequel will explore the mythical journey of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he unites with Chani (Zendaya, who was briefly introduced in Part I) and the Fremen as he was on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family.

The Dunes Herbert’s novel is set on the desert planet Arrakis and tells the story of a boy, Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family charged with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the mixture of “spices “, a drug capable of prolonging life and improving consciousness. Coveted throughout the known universe, the melange is a prize worth slaying… When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey to a destiny greater than he could never have imagined. And by becoming the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will fulfill mankind’s oldest and most unattainable dream.

Denis Villeneuve returns to helm the sequel, which will shoot in Budapest, Abu Dhabi, Jordan and northern Italy. The first three locations served as filming locations for the previous film, while Italy marks a new location for the franchise, which could open the door to a whole new setting for the sequel.

Cinematographer Greig Fraser also returns to shoot the film, marking his second collaboration with Villeneuve. First Dunes, Wadi Rum in Jordan served as the newly inherited planet of the Atreides, Arrakis. Budapest was the setting for some major action scenes in the first film, particularly the Arrakeen invasion scene. The deserts where the Fremen resided were filmed in Abu Dhabi.

The cast of Dune: part two includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Zendaya and Javier Bardem who will return alongside recent cast additions including Florence Pugh, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken.

Dune is among more than 130 major productions to have used Abu Dhabi as a venue in recent years, benefiting from its diverse locations, talented pool of professionals, award-winning facilities and 30% cash back .

Filmmaker Villeneuve returns to the director’s chair for the sequel alongside his co-screenwriters Eric Roth and Jon Spaiths, who penned the screenplay.

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