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LONDON: The desert planet Arrakis came to London’s Leicester Square on Thursday as the star-studded ‘Dune: Part Two’, the second instalment of the sci-fi epic featuring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, rolled into town for the movie’s world premiere.

Canadian director Denis Villeneuve takes audiences back to Arrakis for his follow-up to 2021’s ‘Dune’, with Chalamet’s lead character Paul Atreides joining forces with Zendaya’s Chani and the Arrakis locals, called the Fremen, to seek revenge against those who killed his father.

Abu Dhabi set to host ‘Dune: Part Two’ premiere

Set in a future where noble families rule planetary fiefs, the franchise is based on author Frank Herbert’s highly acclaimed 1965 novel of the same name. It tackles politics, religion, the fight for precious resources and the environment.

“The first movie was a bit of homework for the audience that they had to learn about this world…there was a lot of back story, that’s done. Now the second one was more cinematic fun for me,” Villeneuve told Reuters at the London premiere, which featured a desertscape set-up and is the latest in several promotional stops for the movie.

“Much more difficult but much more fun to do.”

With its sweeping landscapes and dark mood, critics lauded the first film in reviews as a visual spectacle.

Warner Bros delays ‘Dune,’ ‘Lord of the Rings’ films due to strike

‘Dune: Part Two’ sees actor Rebecca Ferguson return as Paul’s mother Jessica and Javier Bardem as Fremen leader Stilgar, and also features new additions: ‘Elvis’ star Austin Butler as the villainous Feyd-Rautha and ‘Oppenheimer’ actress Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan.

“I stepped into a world that I already was enamoured with,” Pugh said of joining the franchise.

“It was a dream, I mean to be a part of a cast like this,” Butler said, adding that playing a villain was “quite fun.”

“I had the opportunity to see ‘Dune’… which I thought was a masterpiece. I felt so privileged to be a part of this one”

‘Dune: Part Two’, whose release was pushed back from late last year because of the Hollywood actors strike, begins its global cinema roll-out from Feb. 28.

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