There could be even more “Dune” on the way if director, co-writer and producer Denis Villeneuve gets his way. Just days after Warner Bros. and Legendary greenlit “Dune: Part Two” – an adaptation of the second half of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel to continue the story that Villeneuve began in the just-released “Dune” – the “Arrival” filmmaker says his dream is to ultimately make at least three “Dune” movies to tell the complete story of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides.
“I always envisioned three movies,” Villeneuve told EW. “It’s not that I want to do a franchise, but this is ‘Dune,’ and ‘Dune’ is a huge story. In order to honor it, I think you would need at least three movies. That would be the dream. To follow Paul Atreides and his full arc would be nice.”
Herbert’s 1965 novel “Dune” was only the beginning of a decades-spanning story, as the sci-fi adventure continued in a further five sequels written by Herbert himself, as well as a number of prequel and sequel novels written by Herbert’s son Brian Herbert and author Kevin J. Anderson after Frank Herbert’s death.
For Villeneuve, though, his dream third film would adapt the second book in the series, “Dune Messiah.” “Herbert wrote six books, and the more he was writing, the more it was getting psychedelic,” Villeneuve said in the interview. “So I don’t know how some of them could be adapted. One thing at a time. If I ever have the chance to do ‘Dune: Part Two’ and ‘Dune Messiah,’ I’m blessed.”
“Dune Messiah” takes place 12 years after the events covered in “Dune” and continues the journey of Paul Atreides. The first “Dune” book – and presumably “Dune: Part Two” – concludes Atreides’ story arc somewhat, but as Herbert kept writing he found further stories to tell about this Duke turned savior.
Villeneuve took a risk in adapting only half of Herbert’s novel for “Dune,” but it paid off. The film was a box office success for Warner Bros., bringing in $40 million on opening weekend despite the fact that it is also available to stream on HBO Max. WB and Legendary wasted little time in greenlighting “Dune 2,” which Villeneuve has been co-writing with Jon Spaihts and hopes to start filming in 2022 for a planned October 2023 release.
But now that Villeneuve is making it known that he wants to make “Dune 3” as well, the pressure will be on “Dune 2” to perform so he can complete his trilogy.