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Rather than try to adapt all of Dune into just one movie, filmmaker Denis Villeneuve revealed back in early 2018 that he plans to chronicle the events of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel across two movies. Technically Dune 2 hasn’t gotten an official green light just yet, but word’s come in that it’s being worked on as the first movie is still being assembled.
Last June, it was announced that a TV show called Dune: The Sisterhood, which will follow a group of women known as the Bene Gesserit, is being made for HBO Max. Jon Spaihts, who co-wrote next year’s Dune movie, was tapped to be the showrunner, but fast-forward to today, he’s stepping down from that position and will instead focus on writing Dune 2.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jon Spaihts turned in one draft of a script and a general outline for Dune: The Sisterhood, but Legendary Television was not pleased with the work he delivered. So now a search for a new showrunner is underway and Spaihts will instead hash out the next Dune movie. However, he’s not severing ties with Dune: The Sisterhood entirely, as he’ll remain aboard as one of its many executive producers.
Again, even though Dune 2 (or whatever it ends up being called) hasn’t been officially announced just yet, Jon Spaihts has reportedly been tasked with penning the script. It’s possible Warner Bros will wait to see how the first Dune movie performs before announcing to the masses that a sequel is on the way, just to be safe.
That being said, since next year’s Dune will just adapt the first half of its source material, then it’s hard to believe that Warner Bros has invested so much in the Dune property, only to never deliver the other half of the story. So it’s a reasonable bet that Dune 2 will eventually be made official, and fingers crossed Jon Spaihts has better luck with the sequel than he did with Dune: The Sisterhood.
After that, it’s hard to say if the Dune franchise could continue on the big screen. Frank Herbert’s original Dune saga stretched across six books, and his son Brian and author Kevin J. Anderson kept this fictional universe going for many years afterwards. It’s doubtful Denis Villeneuve would want to dedicate the rest of his career to the Dune world, but that doesn’t mean another filmmaker couldn’t pick up where he left off.
Like the original source material, the new Dune movie will be set in the distant future and follow the Atreides family, which is given control of the planet Arrakis, home of the most valuable substance in the universe, spice, which can expand a human’s mental capacities. When the family is betrayed by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica, must acquire news allies to help them take back what rightfully belongs to them.