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Turns Out Dune’s Denis Villeneuve Already Has Idea For A Third Movie

Timothee Chalamet holding knife to head in Dune movie

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Because director Denis Villeneuve decided to adapt Dune as two movies rather than one like David Lynch did in the ‘80s, this fall’s Dune will only chronicle the first half of Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel. Dune 2, i.e. the movie delving into the second half of the original story, hasn’t been officially greenlit yet, although Villeneuve is optimistic that the sequel will move forward. Not only that, the filmmaker has given some thought to how this could stretch into a film trilogy.

In an interview with CBC’s Radio Canada (translated through Google), Denis Villeneuve mentioned that he’s given some thought to adapting Dune Messiah, Frank Herbert’s second Dune novel, to close out his cinematic Dune saga. In Villeneuve’s words:

There is Dune's second book, The Messiah of Dune, which could make an extraordinary film. I always saw that there could be a trilogy, after that we'll see. It's years of work, I can't think of going further than that.

Published in 1969, four years after Dune was delivered to the public, Dune Messiah followed up with Paul Atreides 12 years after the events of the tale that kicked off this sprawling mythology. I won’t spoil any Dune Messiah plot details here on the off chance it is adapted for film someday, not to mention I don’t want to tip any people off not familiar with the original Dune story about how that concludes. It is worth noting, though, that Dune Messiah and its follow-up book, Children of Dune, were collectively adapted as a miniseries for the then-Sci-Fi Channel.

After Children of Dune’s publication in 1976, three more Dune books from Frank Herbert followed: God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune (the latter of which ended on a cliffhanger since Herbert passed away in 1986, and it was resolved two decades later in Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune, penned by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson). So there’s certainly no shortage of Dune sequel material to stretch a Dune film series past a trilogy, but Denis Villeneuve is only willing to go as Dune Messiah, which is understandable. It’s asking a lot for a filmmaker to dedicate themselves to only working on one film series, and as of right now, there’s no guarantee Warner Bros and Legendary are even interested in making Dune Messiah, let alone four more Dune movies after that.

For now, all we can do is wait and see how Dune performs both in theaters and on HBO Max (which you can subscribe to with this link), and assuming all goes well, then Denis Villeneuve expects that Dune 2 could begin filming by fall 2022. Along with his directorial duties, Villeneuve also co-wrote Dune’s script with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth, and has been working on the sequel’s treatment. The upcoming movie’s ensemble cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgård, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Charlotte Rampling.

Dune arrives on October 22, and HBO Max is also developing a prequel series called Dune: The Sisterhood. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all sorts of Dune-related updates, and browse through our 2021 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out for the rest of the year.

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.