“Dune: Part Two” is currently casting up to begin filming later this year, but a third “Dune” movie could round out a trilogy of films according to co-writer Jon Spaihts.
In an interview with The Playlist, Spaihts reiterated “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve’s previous comments that the filmmaking team is interested in making a third “Dune” movie to round out a trilogy.
“There are a few tantalizing strands that lead into the future and suggest that we might not be done in this universe, despite the fact that the ending of ‘Dune’ as a novel, which will be the ending of the second film, is a very satisfying conclusion,” Spaihts told The Playlist. “There are a number of ways in which the book also sounds ominous notes, and there are hints of foreboding about what made be yet to come.”
Villeneuve originally pitched the “Dune” adaptation to Warner Bros. as two films, which is why the title of the first film is “Dune: Part One.” The studio waited to see how the first film performed before greenlighting a sequel, but with a box office of $400 million worldwide and 10 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, concluding the adaptation in a second film became a no-brainer.
Spaihts and Villeneuve are currently working on the screenplay for “Dune 2” as the film casts new roles (Austin Butler and Florence Pugh are in the mix for key characters), but Spaihts suggests that while “Dune: Part Two” concludes the adaptation of the first novel, a third film could adapt the next book “Dune Messiah.”
“’Dune Messiah’ is the next book, and it’s one of three books with ‘Dune,’ ‘Dune Messiah,’ and ‘Children of Dune,’ that covers the lives of the characters we meet in the first novel. Subsequently, there’s a giant leap in time and the series gets stranger and more epic as it carries on. But ‘Dune Messiah’ picks up years after the close of ‘Dune,’ and yes, Denis has talked seriously about making that film as well, as a conclusion of the trilogy”
Villeneuve said in October he’d love to adapt “Dune Messiah,” which takes place 12 years after the events covered in “Dune” and continues the journey of Paul Atreides (played in the films by Timothée Chalamet). The first “Dune” book concludes Atreides’ story arc somewhat, but as Herbert kept writing he found further stories to tell about this Duke turned savior.
Warner Bros. has yet to greenlight a “Dune 3,” but an HBO Max series about the Bene Gesserit is in the works, which Spaihts says he was moved off to explore other cinematic continuations of the franchise:
“I ended up getting moved off of it to work, not just on ‘Dune: Part Two,’ but to investigate other cinematic prospects in the ‘Dune’ universe, which we are still talking about and which, again, I’m not allowed to say very much about,” Spaihts said. “But it is a very rich world in which to play, and I think it is ripe with opportunities for storytelling in every direction.”
“Dune” is currently available for purchase on home video and is streaming on HBO Max.