‘Dune 2’ Eyes Push to 2024; Warner Bros. Considering New Dates For ‘Color Purple’, ‘Aquaman 2’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic “Dune” could ride a sandworm until 2024.

Amid two contentious strikes in Hollywood, Warner Bros. Film Group is strongly considering moving Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya’s mast back to next year from its current Nov. 3 location, three people with knowledge of the talks have said. Variety. The film is a co-production with Legendary Entertainment and the two parties need to agree on a new release date, an insider said. Legendary has yet to be approached by WB for a move, they added. Another source close to Warner Bros. said the exits were progressing as originally planned and no formal discussions had taken place, but noted that the length of the union battles was totally unpredictable.

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Spokespersons for Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment declined to comment on the matter.

Additionally, Warner Bros. is evaluating potential new dates for the anticipated musical “The Color Purple,” which has Oprah Winfrey as producer, as well as the DC Studios sequel “Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom,” sources said. The possible reshuffling of dates stems from the strike by unions SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America, at war with show business producers over new contracts.

A film like “Dune 2” would benefit greatly from the participation of its star-studded cast – which also includes Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin – and current union restrictions mean that these actors cannot promote past or future work made and released by stricken companies.

The fact that Warners may be looking ahead indicates that the studio is not convinced that the guild strike will be resolved by mid-autumn. “The Color Purple” and the sequel “Aquaman” are currently dated December 20 and December 25, respectively. A title like “Color Purple,” noted one industry player, would depend on a strong awards campaign. Campaigns for the Oscars and Golden Globes could be hampered by a prolonged strike.

Warner Bros. surely isn’t the only studio in town evaluating the release schedule. Major films in the same aisle as the “Dune” sequel include Disney’s “The Marvels” on November 10 and Lionsgate’s franchise reboot “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” on November 17.

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