Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has finally been unleashed domestically after an international launch weeks prior and the dense sci-fi has achieved a big hurdle, making a solid amount of money at the domestic box office during the opening weekend.
According to Bloomberg, the film has earned an impressive $41 million domestically over the weekend, putting the film’s global cume to $223.2 million with Dune’s production being said to have cost $165 million.
It’s the best domestic opening for Warner Bros. since 2019’s Joker and has surpassed every other pandemic era film including things like Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984 (Wonder Woman 3 already in development), Godzilla Vs. Kong, Space Jam: Legacy, Mortal Kombat, and The Suicide Squad.
We already know that Dune: Part Two has been in development for the better part of two years with Villeneuve co-writing the script with Jon Spaihts, the latter exiting the HBO Max series Dune: The Sisterhood to focus on the sequel. A clear sign the project was a priority for Legendary.
Denis Villeneuve has talked up the potential of starting production in the fall of 2022, a director wouldn’t normally mention a start date for filming unless there was already prep in certain stages already.
WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff has all but said that they’re planning on moving forward, but as Variety points out it’s, apparently, Legendary’s call and the next installment could be announced very soon.
Why Legendary has yet to unveil plans for a sequel remains ambiguous, though an announcement could come shortly, according to insiders.
While they could stop at two movies, Villeneuve has considered the idea of pushing towards a trilogy by using Dune Messiah as the basis of the third movie.
“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.”
The second installment would allow for more casting additions with roles such as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, Princess Irulan, Shaddam IV The Padishah Emperor, and others. Since those characters are being saved and allowed for Dune to give newbies a crash course on the franchise’s deep mythology.
A late 2022 shoot likely means we won’t see Dune: Part Two released until 2023-2024.