Speaking to Empire, Denis Villeneuve has said that “there are words on paper,” for a third Dune film. He’s been talking about continuing the story beyond Dune: Part Two since 2021, but this is the first time he’s said anything further on the subject.
Villeneuve said to Empire, “If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream.” Frank Herbert’s Dune was an epic science fiction novel, but he continued the story of Arrakis and the Atreides family far beyond that one novel. The next book, Dune Messiah, is what Villenueve is eyeing next.
“Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero, which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.” Villenueve hopes to get closer to the themes that Herbert intended. The books get, in Villenueve’s words, “more esoteric” past Messiah. He’s not wrong. There’s a giant Atreiedes spawn worm god emperor in the later books, and Herbert just goes fully out of his mind--and it would be fascinating to eventually see how Villenueve handles that.
Dune: Part 2 is delayed until 2024, but Dune: Messiah could still happen. Villeneuve is used to taking his time.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.
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