“Dune” director Denis Villeneuve says the upcoming sequel is “much better” than the first film, which won six Oscars after it was released in 2021. The filmmaker isn’t disparaging of his first stab at adapting Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi tome, but acknowledged there’s “something more alive” in “Dune 2,” which tackles the second half of the book.
“For me, this film is much better than ‘Part One.’ There’s something more alive in it. There’s a relationship to the characters,” he said at a press conference in South Korea. “I was trying to reach for an intensity and a quality of emotions that I didn’t reach with ‘Part One’ and that I did reach with ‘Part Two.’ I’m not saying the film is perfect, but I’m much more happy with ‘Part Two’ than I was with ‘Part One.’ I cannot wait to share it with the fans and the moviegoers.”
“Dune: Part Two” was originally scheduled to be released in October, but Warner Bros. opted to delay its release to 2024 due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson and Josh Brolin reprise their roles while newcomers for the follow-up include Austin Butler, Florence Pugh and Christopher Walken. It now opens in theaters on March 1, 2024.
While “Dune Part One” charted Paul Atreides’ rise following his father’s death, “Dune Part Two” is more of a revenge story, offering Villeneuve the chance to really lean into the more action-packed aspects of Herbert’s novel.
But the “Blade Runner 2049” filmmaker hopes his journey with “Dune” doesn’t end here. He previously revealed his desire to complete the story by covering aspects of Herbert’s sequel book “Dune Messiah” and he revealed in the press conference that the second sequel is largely written.
“The screenplay is almost finished but it is not finished. It will take a little time …There’s a dream of making a third movie … it would make absolute sense to me.”
Warner Bros. has not yet greenlit another “Dune” movie, and Villeneuve admitted that he may want to take a break and make something else before jumping into “Dune 3” if it does come to fruition.
“I don’t know exactly when I will go back to Arrakis,” Villeneuve said. “I might make a detour before just to go away from the sun. For my mental sanity I might do something in between, but my dream would be to go a last time on this planet that I love.”
Villeneuve has been working in the sci-fi space exclusively for nearly the last decade, jumping into “Arrival” and then “Blade Runner 2049” after earning acclaim for thrillers “Sicario” and “Prisoners.”