'Dune: Part Two' release postponed to 2024 as actors strike lingers

NEW YORK (AP) — The release of “Dune: Part Two,” one of the fall's most anticipated films, has been postponed from November until next year, Warner Bros. confirmed Thursday.

Denis Villeneuve's science-fiction sequel had been set to open Nov. 3, but will instead land in theaters March 15 next year. With the actors strike entering its second month, “Dune: Part Two” had been rumored to be eyeing a move. Variety earlier this month reported Warner Bros. was mulling the delay.

Warner Bros. is opting to wait until its starry cast can promote the follow-up to the 2021 Oscar-winning “Dune.” “Part Two” stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh and Léa Seydoux.

“Dune: Part Two” is one of the biggest 2023 films yet postponed due to the ongoing strikes by actors and screenwriters. Recent releases have mostly opted to go ahead, despite lacking their stars on red carpets or on magazine covers. SAG-AFTRA has asked its members not to promote studio films during the work stoppage.

Luca Guadagnino's “Challengers," an MGM Studios release starring Zendaya, earlier withdrew from its Venice Film Festival opening night slot and postponed its debut to next April. Sony also pushed its next “Ghostbusters” film from December to next year, and removed the early 2024 release “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” from its schedule.

As part of the “Dune” delay, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are shifting “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” one month, to April 12. Warner Bros.' “Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” will vacate that April date and move to December 2024.

Warner Bros. didn't change its other 2023 releases, including “Wonka” (Dec. 15), “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Dec. 20) and “The Color Purple” (Dec. 25).