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Chalamet and Zendaya fever hits Dune 2 premiere – BBC News

  • By Noor Nanji
  • Culture reporter

Video caption,

Watch: Zendaya wears full metallic suit to Dune premiere

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya fever gripped London on Thursday night as the Hollywood heartthrobs hit the red carpet for the world premiere of their new movie, Dune: Part Two.

Huge crowds of adoring fans queued for hours to see them, and were screaming their names as they walked in.

Zendaya drew audible gasps from the crowd when she finally appeared wearing a stunning metallic suit.

The long-awaited sequel was originally set to premiere last autumn.

Image source, Getty Images

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Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya star in the award-winning science-fiction blockbuster

The release date had been pushed back due to the Hollywood actors and writers strikes, which plagued the industry for much of last year.

“It’s a massive relief to finally put the movie out there,” director Denis Villeneuve told BBC News. He added he will be “biting his nails” until the film actually hits cinemas next month.

Florence Pugh and Austin Butler were also among the star-studded cast celebrating the launch of the film.

Image source, Getty Images

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Dune’s A-list cast which includes Rebecca Ferguson and Austin Butler hit the red carpet in London on Thursday

The epic sci-fi film is based on the novel Dune by Frank Herbert, which was released in 1965, and has won numerous accolades including the Hugo Award.

It follows the journey of Paul Atreides (Chalamet) as he unites with his love interest, Chani (Zendaya), and the Fremen desert people as they take on a huge enemy army.

In the sequel, Chalamet’s character learns their special way of surviving on the barren desert planet while seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family.

Chalamet admitted he was feeling “a little bit of pressure” to see the role through given its critical and commercial success.

Speaking on the red carpet, the star said he was hopeful that Dune: Part Three would follow. “I hope so, I hope so,” he shared.

Image source, Getty Images

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Timothée Chalamet takes a selfie with fans on the red carpet

The world of Dune can be quite confusing for those unfamiliar with the books. It is full of mystical prophecies, giant sandworms, and warring factions.

But for many of the fans at Thursday’s event in Leicester Square, the source material wasn’t the main reason why they were there.

“I’m mostly excited to see Timothée Chalamet,” said one excited fan. “I love him,” another young girl clutching a cardboard cutout of Chalamet, declared.

Another fan told the BBC she was waiting for a glimpse of Zendaya.

Chalamet rose to fame in 2017’s Call Me By Your Name which at the time led to him becoming the youngest-ever Oscar nominee for best actor.

He has since become an internet sensation and the pin-up of choice for millennials and Generation Z.

Image source, Getty Images

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Elvis star Austin Butler is one of the main villains

Zendaya, 27, is a well-known fashion icon and has built a loyal following starring roles in Spiderman alongside boyfriend Tom Holland and in Dune: Part One.

There were also a lot of screams when the Masters of Air actor Butler walked in, supported by his model girlfriend Kaia Gerber.

Best known for his award-winning portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (2022), Butler has made his Dune debut as the bald, eyebrow-less villain Feyd-Rautha.

“This was such a fun character to play,” Butler said. He added that he was a “massive fan” of the book, as well as the first film. “So it was just the time of my life getting into this.”

Image source, Getty Images

Also new to the Dune franchise is Oppenheimer actress Pugh, who stars as a new character Princess Irulan.

“She’s completely different to anything I’ve ever done before,” Pugh told BBC News, when asked to compare the character to some of her other memorable roles.

“Still with the same wisdom and bolshiness but it’s all subdued, so I got to spread wings in a different position maybe, and I got to have Denis lead me the way which everyone on this cast feels very lucky to have done so.”

The star-studded cast also includes Mission Impossible star Rebecca Ferguson, who acts as Paul Atreides’s mother, and Josh Brolin as General Gurney Halleck.

Christopher Walken, who portrays Emperor Shaddam, is another new face in the sequel but did not attend the London premiere.

Great expectations

Expectations for Dune: Part Two are sky-high, after the huge success of the first instalment.

Dune: Part One, which was released in October 2021, garnered ten Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and went on to win six awards, in cinematography, editing, score, visual effects, production design and sound.

It was also a box office success, earning more than $400m globally.

So great is the anticipation for the new film, it’s even inspired a viral popcorn bucket, which has a lid in the shape of a sandworm.

It remains to be seen how audiences globally will respond to Dune: Part Two, but for fans who got to see their idols Chalamet, Zendaya and their co-stars at the premiere, this was the night they had been waiting for.

Dune 2 is out in UK cinemas on 1 March 2024.

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