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The Dune Part 2 Release Date Is Slightly Worrisome for Director Denis Villeneuve

The sequel is scheduled to come out in October 2023, but production won't start until late 2022.

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Denis Villeneuve and Javier Bardem making Dune.
Director Denis Villeneuve and actor Javier Bardem, whose character will play a big part in Dune Part 2.
Image: Warner Bros.

For fans, the news of Dune Part 2 coming in October 2023 is excellent. That means we will, for sure, see what happens next with Paul Atreides. For Dune Part 1 writer-director Denis Villeneuve, it’s great news too, but unlike the fans he has a bigger issue: actually making the movie in time.

“It’s fantastic news, but it’s also kind of a burden,” the director told the Hollywood Reporter. “The good news is that a lot of the work has been done already regarding design, casting, locations and writing. So we’re not starting from scratch. It’s not a long period of time, but I will try to face that challenge because it’s important for me that the audience sees Part Two as soon as possible. It’s not a sequel where it’s another episode or another story with the same characters. It actually has direct continuity to the first movie. It’s the second part of the big huge movie that I’m trying to do. So the sooner the better.”


In the same interview, Villeneuve admits production probably wouldn’t start until fall of 2022 (“Even that would be fast,” he said)—leaving only a year for both production and post-production. It’s not impossible, of course, but it’s not the easiest thing either with a film of that size. Thankfully, Villeneuve said he feels reenergized thanks to the positive reactions the film has been getting. “To know that people are enjoying the movie and that the movie has created enthusiasm, it does give me the necessary energy to do Part Two,” he said. Even from a very egocentric point of view, that joy gives me energy. That’s what I will say. If it was the opposite and nobody had shown up to the theater, I don’t know where I would find the necessary stamina to face the challenge of Part Two.”

And, as we’d previously reported, that energy could even carry over to the next book in Frank Herbert’s Dune series, Dune Messiah. “If things go well with Part Two, I could foresee the idea of maybe doing a third movie, Dune Messiah. That would make sense to me,” the director said. “After that, to answer your question, I think that I will make some other movies; let’s call them big movies regarding their ambition and scope. And later on, when I’m too tired to do that, I will go back to some smaller projects. [Laughs.] But for now, I have the energy to do this.”


He’s gonna need it. The clock is ticking and Dune Part 2 is slated to be in theaters just about two years from now, on October 20, 2023.

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