How 'Dune: Part 2' Will Differ From 'Part 1,' According to Movie's Editor

Dune: Part One may have been an international hit, but the movie's editor says there are more reasons to be excited about Dune: Part Two.

Joe Walker, nominated for Best Achievement in Film Editing at the 2022 Academy Awards, confirmed he will return to edit the sequel alongside frequent collaborator, director Denis Villeneuve. Details are sparse on the sequel to the epic sci-fi movie, but Walker has shared what he knows ahead of shooting, which is due to start this summer.

Dune: Part One made $400 million internationally and is nominated for 10 Oscars at Sunday's Academy Awards. The all-star cast features Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista and Zendaya, with many of those slated to return for the sequel.

Newsweek interviewed Walker ahead of the big ceremony, looking ahead to the Dune sequel and talking about some of his favorite moments from Dune: Part One.

Why Dune 2 Is 'Liberated'

Once the dust settles on Dune's awards campaign, everybody can start to focus on making the sequel, which is currently due out in movie theaters on October 20, 2023.

"I'm very excited about it because I feel like we are able to go further into things," Walker told Newsweek. "That's a lot more fun to get further into the Fremen and I think that will be fascinating.

Joe Walker and the Dune poster
Joe Walker (left) is nominated for an Oscar for editing "Dune: Part One" and will return for "Dune: Part Two" in 2023. Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

"There's enough of them to tell the story in Part One, but not enough to really delve into their society and personality." He added, "It feels a little bit liberated because we don't have to start from scratch. I think we did a pretty good job [in Part One]. I know what the options were and it took a long time."

Part One was filled with exposition, setting us the "complicated world" of Dune for viewers. There's so much backstory within the world that it couldn't be skimped over according to Walker.

"Part One we have the challenge of setting up the Bene Gesserit, the Harkonnen, the Mentats, the Atreides the Emperor, Dune, the Fremen. The burden on a Part One is, how do you navigate that fairly and also, still get people to care? It's a big challenge for a cinematic film."

Walker, who previously worked with Villeneuve on Sicario, Arrivals and Bladerunner 2049, had 20 months to edit Dune: Part One into the masterpiece it's considered to be. The time frame has been considerably shortened for the follow-up.

"I'm going back to Hungary for the main shoot, which I think is going to be in July, so I'm all fixed and can't wait.

"It sounds crazy, but I don't think we've got very much time for Part Two, it's going to be very compressed. The advantage is that conceptually it's all been worked out. You know, the worm is designed but there's still many many challenges for the VVFX department and things but we don't have to start from scratch like last time."

Dune Part One still image
REBECCA FERGUSON as Lady Jessica Atreides, ZENDAYA as Chani, JAVIER BARDEM as Stilgar, and TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “Dune: Part One." Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Walker hasn't seen the script yet as he tells Villeneuve not to share it with him until it's ready, but he does know elements of the plot that are coming thanks to the Dune books by Frank Herbert. "I do know there's going to be a hell of a battle in the desert and I'm rather excited about that," Walker said.

Dune: Part One and Arrival

Walker borrowed techniques he used from a previous Villeneuve movie for Dune: Part One, both of which ended in Academy Award-nominations for the British film editor.

"It's sort of a companion piece to Arrival in terms of taking that venture, in editing terms, to appear in the mind of the participant," Walker said. He compared the scenes of Amy Adam's character's memories in Arrival with Chalamet's visions in Dune.

"It was shot as documentary material and there wasn't a structure to it. It was loose and there was placeholders in the script but it was really loose and it was really important to try and make it take shape."

Dune behind the scenes
Director/co-writer/producer DENIS VILLENEUVE and TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET on the set of "Dune: Part One." Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Walker has now been nominated for three Academy Awards (12 Years a Slave, Arrival and Dune: Part One) as well as countless other awards for film editing. He modestly said it was thanks to one technique he developed.

"My reputation has really been based on one very simple trick, which is if you go from somebody looking intensely to something else, it looks like they're thinking about them in a certain context, you knows a very simple Kuleshov effect."

Dune: Part One is available to stream on HBO Max now.

Dune cast
The cast of "Dune" appearing at the London screening of their movie in October 2021. Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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