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When Dune 2 Could Begin Filming, According To Denis Villeneuve

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune

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When Frank Hebert’s seminal sci-fi novel Dune was first adapted for the big screen, David Lynch adapted all of the story into one movie. Arrival and Blade Runner 2049’s Denis Villeneuve opted to go a different route with his film adaptation by splitting the story into two feature presentations. Villeneuve’s first Dune movie comes out in October, and while Dune 2 hasn’t been officially greenlit yet, the filmmaker already has a good idea of when cameras could start rolling on the sequel if it moves forward.

Earlier this year, Eric Roth, who co-wrote Dune with Denis Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts, said he’d written a treatment for Dune 2 that would be presented to Frank Herbert’s estate. According to Villeneuve in his recent interview with La Presse (translated through Google), that presentation hasn’t happened yet because he’s doing his own work on the treatment, but he has an “excellent” relationship with Frank’s son Brian Herbert (who’s co-written a lot of Dune books with Kevin J. Anderson), so it doesn’t sound like he sees any problems on that front. Then a potential sequel will depend on how Dune performs in the fall, and assuming that goes well too, here’s how Villeneuve sees things unfolding:

The script will then be relatively well advanced, and I think realistically that we could start filming in the fall of 2022. It would be pretty quick, but it would be good.

Assuming Denis Villeneuve and Dune 2 team could indeed meet that goal, that would mean the sequel would start filming approximately three and a half years after Dune started principal photography, with that shoot lasting from March to July of 2019. While it would have been great if the two Dune movies could have shot back-to-back like what was done with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and is currently being done with Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, Villenueve sounds relatively optimistic that Dune 2 could happen. So better late than never on rolling cameras, I suppose.

During an IMAX screening last month that showed the first 10 minutes of Dune, the movie was referred to as Dune: Part One. That combined with Denis Villeneuve saying that Warner Bros and Legendary are “100% behind” Dune suggests that, at the very least, these companies are interested in a sequel. Even if we never see Frank Herbert’s other Dune books adapted for film, it’d be nice for Villenueve’s vision for the original story’s adaptation to be completed rather than be cut off halfway through. Villenueve has also said that Zendaya’s Chani will have a much larger role in Dune 2.

Dune’s ensemble cast also includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgård, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Charlotte Rampling, among others. You’ll be able to watch the movie in theaters and for a 31-day period on HBO Max starting October 22 (use this link to sign up for the latter streaming service if you’re interested in that viewing option).

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates on Dune 2’s prospects. Fans of the franchise should also keep on the lookout for the HBO Max prequel series Dune: The Sisterhood, which scored a new showrunner in July.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.