Florence Pugh has said the sequel of sci-fi epic Dune explores themes which she feels society is “constantly battling against”.

Based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name and set in the distant future, the story delves into ideas including groups battling for control, humanity’s relationship with nature and the survival of society.

Denis Villeneuve’s highly-anticipated follow-up sees Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalamet, unite with Chani, portrayed by Zendaya, and the Fremen to take revenge on those who conspired to destroy his family.

British actress Pugh, 28, makes her debut in Dune: Part Two as Princess Irulan, daughter of the supreme ruler of the galaxy.

Dune: Part Two world premiere – London
Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya arrive for the world premiere of Dune: Part Two at Leicester Square Gardens in central London (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Asked how topical she feels the themes of the film are to a modern audience, she told the PA news agency on the red carpet of the world premiere in central London: “There’s a reason why we’re retelling this story now.

“There’s a reason why it’s lasted this long already.

“There’s a reason why the books tell the future thousands of years into the future.

“It’s themes that we are constantly battling against and it’s something that clearly people are drawn to the story being retold.”

The first film, released in 2021, followed Chalamet’s character, heir to the Atreides noble family, who becomes embroiled in a war for control over the galaxy’s most valuable asset while he battles visions of a dark future.

It also featured Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, US actors Dave Bautista and Oscar Isaac, Avengers star Josh Brolin and Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard among its star-studded cast.

Don’t Worry Darling star Pugh, who wore a sequinned chocolate brown gown with a plunging neckline and hood for the premiere, said joining the cast for the sequel film was “an actual gift”.

“I had the privilege of being able to watch the movie as the rest of the world did,” she said.

“The first movie I fell in love with. I watched (it) as an audience member, I got to meet the characters, the world, the sets, the director’s vision.

“I fell in love with it, like everybody did.

“And then I asked my team if I could be in the second and perchance it happened.

“And so I feel like I got to then walk into this unbelievable world and I got to basically work with all these actors that I’ve admired for such a long time.

“It truly was an actual gift, it landed on my lap.”

Dune: Part Two world premiere – London
Cast members arrive for the world premiere of Dune: Part Two in central London (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Ferguson, who plays Lady Jessica, the mother of Chalamet’s character Paul, said: “I think an intelligent audience will always question the relevant time that we’re living in, compared to what we’re doing.

“Whether it’s political, environmental or that they just really like a big headdress and fashion is tattoos on the face and chains, I don’t judge.”

The follow-up also sees Elvis star Austin Butler join the cast as the bald and eyebrow-less villain, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.

Ferguson said Butler’s character was her favourite and “as soon as he entered, s*** got real”.

Brolin, who returns to the franchise as the weapons master of the house Atreides, said he felt the film is “very poignant” in relation to the ecological issues the world is facing.

“Do we take care of the resources that we have, or do we not?” he said.

“And you can believe that we do but it’s kind of obvious that there’s some things that are being depleted, and maybe we shouldn’t do that so much. But then I’m guilty of it, too.”

Director Denis Villeneuve also encouraged fans to watch the sequel in cinemas because he feels it is “an experience that is unmatched”.

“As humans, we are not meant to be alone in our bubble, we are meant to share things together, to be together,” he added.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than to experience emotions in a group of humans together, that’s part of our humanity to share.”

The sequel had been set for release on November 3, but was postponed following the Sag-Aftra US actors’ strike.

Part One was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won six, including for original score, visual effects, cinematography and editing.

Dune: Part Two will arrive in cinemas on March 1.