It’s been Denis Villeneuve’s plan since day one: adapt Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel, Dune, in two parts, and then bring the story of Paul Atreides to a close with an adaptation of the follow-up, Dune Messiah. He’s been saying that since before the release of Dune: Part One but, at that time, it was more a dream than reality. With each passing day though, that dream moves closer to reality, even if it’s going to take longer than fans might expect.
“[Dune Messiah is] being written right now,” the director said at a South Korean press conference, picked up by Variety. “The screenplay is almost finished but it is not finished. It will take a little time… There’s a dream of making a third movie… it would make absolute sense to me.”
Yes yes. The dream. We covered all that. But when, Denis? WHEN? “I don’t know exactly when I will go back to Arrakis,” Villeneuve added. “I might make a detour before just to go away from the sun. For my mental sanity I might do something in between, but my dream would be to go a last time on this planet that I love.”
So it seems the plan, hypothetically, is for Dune: Part Two to finally come out on March 15, 2024, Villeneuve to make another film, and then if the demand warrants it, go back to Arrakis, as he phrased it, one last time.
This, of course, also hinges not just on Villeneuve’s sanity, but the success of Dune: Part Two. Dune: Part One grossed $US400 million worldwide, which is pretty good, and was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning six, which is incredible. However, in the same interview, Villeneuve said he likes his new film even more, which suggests Part Two could eclipse its predecessor.
“For me, this film is much better than Part One,” the director said. “There’s something more alive in it. There’s a relationship to the characters. I was trying to reach for an intensity and a quality of emotions that I didn’t reach with Part One and that I did reach with Part Two. I’m not saying the film is perfect, but I’m much more happy with Part Two than I was with Part One. I can not wait to share it with the fans and the moviegoers.”
And we can’t wait to see it, or its follow-up, however long it may take. Dune: Part Two opens March 15, 2024.
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