Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya Only Had an Hour Each Day to Film ‘Dune: Part Two’ Romance Scenes at Sunset: ‘There’s a Ticking Timer’

After debuting a breathtaking first trailer at CinemaCon, “Dune: Part Two” has now unveiled first look images of Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh and more in Vanity Fair magazine. The film’s director, Denis Villeneuve, confirmed to the publication that “Part Two” begins immediately where the first movie ended.

“It’s important — it’s not a sequel, it’s a second part. There’s a difference,” Villeneuve said. “I wanted the movie to really open just where we left the characters. There’s no time jump. I wanted dramatic continuity with Part One.”

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While Villeneuve described “Dune: Part Two” as “a war epic action movie,” he also stressed that at “the epicenter of the story” is the love story between Paul (Chalamet) and Chandi (Zendaya).

“I kept saying to my crew, ‘The most important thing is that spark, that relationship between both of these characters,’” Villeneuve said. “If we don’t capture that, if we don’t have that onscreen, there’s no movie.”

Part of creating that love story meant racing against the clock to film romance scenes at “magic hour” in the Jordan desert. Villeneuve wanted these moments to be bathed in gold via natural light at sunset, but that meant the team only had about an hour each day to nail the scenes.

“​​There’s kind of, like, a ticking timer,” Zendaya said. “You kind of feel like, ‘Okay, we got here, but we have maybe an hour to get this.’ So we revisited a bit every day, and over a few days, that gives us a few hours. Every time we revisited it, we kind of got to sleep on it and think about it, and come up with a new set of ideas.”

Zendaya said navigating Paul and Chani’s chemistry was one of the bigger challenges of making “Dune: Part Two.”

“It was funny trying to figure out in this futuristic space talk, like, how do they flirt?” Zendaya said. “What does that look like for a space warrior and the young duke of a planet? How do they show that they like each other? What does that even sound like? We were definitely trying to navigate that, which was funny because all of us were stumped. I think it’s just as foreign to us as it probably is to the characters.”

“Dune: Part Two” is set to open in theaters on Nov. 3 from Warner Bros.

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