Dune’s Denis Villeneuve Reveals How He Told Timothée Chalamet About The Sequel Actually Happening

Timothee Chalamet in Dune
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

It’s no secret Dune is a dense novel. So when Denis Villeneuve revealed that he planned to divide the story into at least two movies, it was met with excitement... and then almost immediately by anxiousness when we learned that the filmmaker’s greenlight to film the second part of Dune was dependent on the success of the first. When the science fiction movie hit theaters, it hung over the cast and audiences heads. But as fans know, fear is the mind-killer, and following the first movie's commercial success, Dune: Part Two is, in fact, happening. The moment we all found out was met with glee from all involved. 

As Dune finds its way on ‘best of 2021’ lists, Denis Villeneuve reflected on when he was given the go-ahead to execute his Dune: Part Two plans. When speaking to Total Film, the filmmaker shared how he broke the news to Timothée Chalamet, the first person he told when Warner Bros made Dune: Part Two official. In Villeneuve’s words:  

Definitely, because of his incredible enthusiasm, it was Timothée. I spent almost a year with Timothée where he was saying to me, ‘Can I put a little bit of the Muad’Dib here?’ I said, ‘No, Timothée. You’re not the Muad’Dib yet.’ I spent a year saying to him, ‘Relax, man. It’s for Part Two.’ So I just wrote him a text message saying: ‘Muad’Dib time.’ And then it was a burst of joy in Timothée.

Throughout the press tour for the first Dune film, Timothée Chalamet and the rest of the cast of the film promoted the movie without knowing whether the second movie was happening. The film leaves off on a cliffhanger for the rest of the book before the title card ‘Dune: Part One’ caps off the story. Fans of the book will know there’s still a lot left in Paul Atreides' journey yet to be put on screen by Denis Villeneuve. 

While Timothée Chalamet sounds like he was a tad impatient to add more of the elements from the second half of the book to Dune: Part One, Denis Villeneuve had faith in the movie he was making and insisted on being patient with the first half. It paid off clearly now that the filmmaker has Part Two ahead, but the uncertainty couldn’t have been easy for its lead at the time. 

Following Dune’s solid opening weekend in theaters and same-day HBO Max premiere, Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures announced that a second movie was officially happening. Dune: Part Two is set to be released on October 20, 2023 – two years after the release of the first movie. Denis Villeneuve had already begun work on designing the sequel prior to the decision being made, and given the care he brought to the first movie, we don’t expect anything less out of the upcoming sequel. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.