Dune: UK release date of 2021 movie, who is in the cast with Zendaya, reviews, trailer and plot explained

The movie is based on the Frank Herbert’s novel by the same name, the first in a series of books

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Of all the cinematic releases delayed since the Covid pandemic, the release of sci-fi thriller Dune is likely the most anticipated.

The star-studded cast and captivating trailer has left cinema-goers desperate for the UK release of Denis Villeneuve’s latest film.

Now that the official trailer has been released in the UK, you might be wondering when you can finally watch it on the silver screen.

Here is everything you need about Dune (2021) and when it is released in the UK.

When is Dune released in the UK?

Dune was released in UK cinemas on Friday 22nd October, 2021.

Dune had originally been scheduled for release in 2020, but it was pushed back by Warner Bros. Studio due to the pandemic.

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on 3 September.

What is Dune about?

Dune is based on the 1965 novel by the same name, the first in a series of books by novelist Frank Herbert. The novel is considered one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time.

The sci-fi thriller is set on the desert island of Arrakis, aka. Dune, where the fuel source known as Melange is mined to keep Imperium alive.

The official synopsis for the film says: “Set in the far distant future, Dune’s epic storyline sees Duke Leto Atreides accepting stewardship of the treacherous desert planet Arrakis, famed for being the only source of the spice melange – a highly prized drug that extends life, enabling the prescience that – among other gifts – makes faster-than-light space travel possible, opening up the far reaches of space.

“Leto and his family, which includes his concubine wife, the Lady Jessica, and their son, Paul, are tasked with overseeing the harvesting of the ‘spice’ but this proves easier said than done as the substance is produced by the larvae of lethal, giant sandworms.

“Leto must also contend with the planet’s native people, the Fremen, who consider the spice holy. Meanwhile, the empire’s royal houses feud among themselves, eyeing the honour bestowed upon House Atreides jealousy, and plotting to seize it for themselves.”

Who is in the cast?

The all-star line-up compliments the outstanding reputation of the Dune novels, the movie is set to be nothing short of a blockbuster when it is released in October.

BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated American actor Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Little Woman) will lead as Paul Atreides. The 25-year-old has been nominated for more than a dozen awards for his stunning performances and he is expected to see further nods for his performance in Dune.

Oscar Isaac (Llewyn Davis, X-Men: Apocalypse) plays his father Duke Leto, the leader of House Atreides, while Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, best known for her role in Mission Impossible, plays his partner Lady Jessica.

Singer and actress Zendaya (who also stars in upcoming Marvel movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home) will star as Chani, a mysterious Fremen fighter who Paul has visions of and eventually encounters in the Arrakeen desert. Her character plays a leading role in the novels which succeeded Dune, though Zendaya’s role in the movie is small, by her own admission.

Josh Brolin (Deadpool 2) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman) play Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho respectively, loyal staff to the Atreides family.

Chernobyls’ Stellan Skarsgard will take on the role of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the enemy of the Atreides empire.

Dune reviews

The movie has been largely praised, following its premier at the beginning of September.

The Guardian said: “Good heavens, what a film. The drama is played out with relish by an ensemble cast (Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa) and Villeneuve is confident enough to let the temperature slowly build before the big operatic set-pieces eventually break cover. He has constructed an entire world for us here, thick with myth and mystery, stripped of narrative signposts or even much in the way of handy exposition.

"He has handed us a movie to map out at our leisure and figure out on the run: apparently spitting on someone is an gesture of respect, while walking sideways like a crab is the safest way to proceed. After that we’re on our own, wandering in the desert, wonderfully immersed. It’s a film of discovery; an invitation to get lost."

Time was also full of praise for Villeneuve’s directing, writing: "Villeneuve presents this tale as an unapologetically poker-faced futuristic parable. There are characters with names like Duncan Idaho (who happens to be played, charmingly, by Jason Momoa), and everyone is waiting for someone known as the Kwisatz Haderach to show up. Villeneuve lays it out before us without smirking or winking; his go-for-broke earnestness feels honest and clean. And the effects, while lavish, also have a tasteful, polished quality.”

However, The Independent noted poor casting choice: "Dune is a complicated book. It's also a complicated film. There's a real question as to why the Fremen – whose language, dress, and culture are so directly inspired by the nomadic, Arabic Bedouin tribes – don't feature any Middle Eastern and North African (Mena) actors in speaking roles, their leader instead played by Javier Bardem in a shemagh-inspired headscarf.

"The casting choice is poor, and will only cause further problems if Villeneuve is able to make the second part of this story. It's a small, but noticeable chip in the paint when it comes to Dune – a work that's otherwise of such intimidating grandeur that it's hard to believe it even exists in the first place."

Will there be a second Dune movie?

While there has been no confirmation of further Dune films, the movie is based on the first of eight in a series of novel’s by Frank Herbert.

The books, in order of publishing, are:

  • Dune.
  • Dune Messiah.
  • Children of Dune.
  • God Emperor of Dune.
  • Heretics of Dune.
  • Chapterhouse: Dune.
  • Hunters of Dune.
  • Sandworms of Dune.

Therefore, there is a high chance that the success of the upcoming Dune screen adaptation could be followed by seven more films.