According to Warner Bros., Denis Villeneuve’s first installment in the Dune franchise has earned an impressive $300 million at the worldwide box office.
It’s a huge win for fans of Dune, who have been waiting decades for a studio to make a competent version that was appealing to general audiences. Thankfully, Villeneuve was able to spend the runtime of Dune to properly world-build and explain most of the dense mythology, before jumping into the more action-focused sequel.
The second film, Dune: Part Two, was officially announced last week by Legendary/Warner Bros. for a release date of October 20, 2023.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Villeneuve doubled-down on the idea of making a trilogy and suggests he’s “always envisioned” making three movies. The idea was that he’d adapt Frank Herbert’s second novel, Dune Messiah, for a third movie.
“I always envisioned three movies. 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 wrote six books, and the more he was writing, the more it was getting psychedelic. 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.”
As far as we know, Jon Spaihts is only tackling the Dune: Part Two script and they haven’t said they are actively working on a Dune Messiah movie, just the intention to do so in the future. Spaihts was originally tackling Dune: The Sisterhood before the second film became a priority at Legendary.
Denis has indicated he’d stop at three films given that Herbert’s books such as Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune would mean new castings given the time-jumps.