more sandworms

Denis Villeneuve Still Has a “Dream” of a Dune Trilogy

In an interview with Empire, the director shared his plans for a third Dune film: “There are words on paper.” 
Denis Villeneuve Still Has a “Dream” of a 'Dune' Trilogy
Greg Doherty/WireImage

Dune: Part Two may be delayed until 2024 due to the strike, but that might not be the end of our time spent on Arrakis. In an interview with Empire, director Denis Villeneuve shared that he is embarking on a third Dune film: “If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream.” 

Villeneuve’s third Dune film, Dune: Part Three, would be based on the sci-fi novel Dune Messiah, the direct sequel to Dune written by original scribe Frank Herbert. “Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero,” Villeneuve told Empire. “Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.”

Villeneuve first revealed that he intended to make Dune a trilogy in Vanity Fair’s 2022 Hollywood Issue. “The second one will definitely be more visual and less dialogue-driven. And, hopefully, there will be another film after that,” Villeneuve said. “Dune Messiah, Herbert’s second novel in this universe, would make total sense as a third movie because it completes Paul Atreides’s arc.” Villeneuve went on to say that he wanted to make part two “as fast as possible,” and then “wait a few years—until Timothée Chalamet gets a bit older—to do the final installment.”

“I’ve lived with Dune for most of my life,” he said. “Being patient is part of the journey.”

Villeneuve’s Dune journey began on September 15, 2021, with the release of Dune: Part 1. The film starring Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya was a critical and commercial success, winning six Academy Awards. Dune: Part Two was originally scheduled to hit theaters on November 3, 2023, but has been pushed to March 25, 2024, due to the ongoing Hollywood writer and actor strikes. The second installment follows Chalamet’s Paul Atreides as he joins forces with Zendaya’s Chani and the Fremen to avenge his family. Along with Chalamet, Zendaya, and Ferguson, Dune: Part Two stars Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, and Léa Seydoux. 

While Herbert wrote six Dune books in total and his son, Brian Herbert, has co-authored many more, Villeneuve says that he’d cap his Dune films at a trilogy. “After that, the books become more…esoteric,” he says. As for the potential third film, Villeneuve told Empire that he’s begun the writing process. “I will say, there are words on paper.”